The year 2018 has just barely started and someone has already messed up. Youtuber Logan Paul recently went on vacation to Japan, and it is even worse than expected. It all started on January 1st when Paul posted a video where he went to the Aokigahara forest, more famously known as the Japanese Suicide Forest. From there he just fell further and further.
In Paul’s video, he says he is “finding himself in the suicide forest” as a New Year’s Resolution. Why exactly would he want to find himself in such a place? Aokigahara is a place where many have chosen to end their lives, not somewhere to just wander and soul search. Aokigahara is known to be a place to easily get lost in due to the volcanic soil it grew over. The volcanic soil has made dozens of holes where one may think it is okay to step, but the winding tree roots hide holes. In a place where it is easy to get lost and hard to trek through even on the normal paths, going off trail would be a bad decision. Logan Paul must just be a free thinker, going off trail to go find a camping spot. When Logan saw the body from a distance, he decided to move closer and start filming. He did not even have the decency to edit that portion out of the video, saying he was “the realest Youtuber”. Instead of actually being respectful and acting like a proper adult, he jokes around and yells. He said that the video was just going to be a joke, he did not expect to actually find a body. Why would someone go into such a place all for a joke?
Some fans are saying his jokes and immature behavior were just a way he was coping, but the rest of his trip to Japan was horrific. At least in the video about Aokigahara Paul avoided committing any crimes, but Japanese officials believe he has committed punishable offences while filming his other videos. Paul could be charged with destruction of property, many traffic violations, forcible obstruction of business operations, public indecency, and possibly assault. Is this really the role model perfect to influence the next generation? Many of his fans, most seeming to be young, pre-teens, are posting videos of themselves defending Paul. On Paul’s tweet where he apologized for the Aokigahara video, one fan replied saying “Understand !! It’s a mistake !!!!!!!!! It wasn’t a “So funny” laugh.. it was a “nervous, what do I do” laugh. Stop thinking you know everything. You don’t.”
Here is the thing though, any Youtuber with a good amount of subscribers edits their videos. He should have edited out the footage with the dead body, taken out the footage with the jokes, and just posted the part where he actually seemed to be taking the situation seriously at the end of the video.
He has 16 million fans all watching him and learning from his actions, seeing how he reacts and applying their role model’s logic to their daily lives.