Anyone remotely interested in YouTube and its various stars and channels will likely already know that it’s been something of a dramatic year already for the Paul brothers – Jake and Logan – who up until recently have remained some of the most popular vloggers online. They still have a huge following – amounting into the millions – but a certain video of Logan’s has set more than a few teeth on edge with regard to taste. A video blog – or vlog – which saw the star visit the infamous ‘suicide forest’ of Aokigahara in Japan – drew controversy as Paul was seen to witness a hanging body with his friends, apparently making jokes along the way. Paul has since apologized both on Twitter and on YouTube – while some feel that his apology was insincere.
YouTube, this week, has intervened further by taking direct action in terms of the status of Paul’s account. He’s been removed from the Google Preferred scheme, which essentially means that he will no longer be able to benefit from ad revenue on his future videos. They’ve also paused lucrative projects with the vlogger, having initially been set to star in his second movie via the YouTube Red service.
Paul still hosts over 15 million subscribers online even after the controversy spread – but it’s thought restrictions on his future earnings could prevent him from amassing additional cash that he would otherwise be accustomed to. As things stand, however, he will continue to make money from his videos – and it remains unlikely that he will lose his hold over millions of regular viewers despite such controversy.
Many people are just as upset with YouTube as they are with Paul’s actions – as it has taken the company considerable time to address the issue face-on, particularly as controversy had already escalated to the point where it seemed Paul’s popularity on the site could be affected. Some have also criticized YouTube’s moves in their entirety – in the sense that the retribution offered was not nearly reasonable enough considering the action Paul had taken.
Those demanding that Paul be removed from the site completely will therefore be disappointed – though removing his option on a YouTube Red movie and further ad monetization will likely be enough of a pinch to hopefully prevent the star from making similar videos in future. Has his name been tarnished for good? With other popular YouTube names such as PewDiePie and JonTron having faced their own controversies in recent years and still continuing to entertain large audiences, his fate is hardly set in stone.