YouTube sensation Logan Paul says he made a big mistake when uploading a video showing the hanging body of a man who committed suicide.
The YouTuber announced Wednesday that in a tweet at he would be “taking time to reflect” and suspending his YouTube channel for the time being.
Paul posted a video apology message on Twitter Tuesday. “For my fans who are defending my actions,” he said, “please don’t. They don’t deserve to be defended.”
“I’m ashamed of myself,” Paul added. “I’m disappointed in myself. And I promise to be better.”
Video blogger Philip DeFranco posted an official statement he received from YouTube regarding Paul’s video offering their condolences to the family of the dead man, and outlining their rules for publishing graphic content on their website.
The graphic footage was filmed in the famous “Japanese Suicide Forest”. Paul’s video was titled “We found a dead body in the Japanese suicide forest” and involved the vlogger and his friends coming across the body in the forest.
The 22-year-old zoomed in on the deceased man’s blurred face before remarking, “This is a first for me.” Paul’s friend said, “I don’t feel very good.” The Internet personality replied, “You never stand next to a dead guy?” before laughing.
Paul’s video generated over one million views before being removed from his channel. Facing a storm of anger from users on social media, Paul apologized while insisting he did not post the video with the intention getting clicks.
“This is a first for me. I’ve never faced criticism like this before, because I’ve never made a mistake like this before,” he tweeted. “I’m surrounded by good people and believe I can make good decisions, but I’m still a human being. I can be wrong.”
Paul explained how, “I didn’t do it for views. I get views. I did it because I thought I could make a positive ripple on the internet, not cause a monsoon of negativity. That’s never the intention.”
“I intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention and while I thought ‘if this video saves just ONE life, it’ll be worth it’, I was misguided by shock and awe, as portrayed in the video,” he insisted. “I still am.”
Fellow Internet sensation Rebecca Black lambasted Paul for his lack of sensitivity when publishing the video. “The amount of personal and social unawareness Logan Paul has displayed in THAT video is mind-blowing to me,” she tweeted.
“How could one with such power and influence have the audacity to put something so thoughtless online?” continued Black. “You have potentially intensified an entire family’s grief beyond measure.”
Longtime YouTuber Philip DeFranco also chimed in, saying Paul’s “core audience doesn’t give a f**k. Unless YouTube does something, this doesn’t hurt him.”
Read more outrage to Paul’s video from members of the Twitterverse, including actors like “Breaking Bad” star Aaron Paul and “Game of Thrones” actress Sophie Turner, below.