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Logan Paul apologizes after 'suicide forest' YouTube post

In its introduction, Logan Paul said it's 'the most real video I've ever posted.'
Image: Logan Paul
YouTube vlogger Logan Paul reacts after spotting someone who took their own life during a visit to Japan's "suicide forest."Logan Paul Vlogs/YouTube

YouTube star Logan Paul issued an apology on Tuesday after posting a video showing a dead body hanging from a tree.

Paul, whose YouTube channel has around 15 million followers, made the discovery while walking with friends in Japan’s Aokigahara forest, also known as the "suicide forest."

The video was later deleted.

In its introduction, the 22-year-old Paul said it’s “the most real video I’ve ever posted.”

When the group found the body, Paul looked surprised and said he has never seen a dead person. He then nervously laughed.

With backlash growing, Paul first posted a written apology on Twitter to say that he wanted to "raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention."

"Let me start with this — I'm sorry," he wrote. "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."

But facing more criticism, Paul also posted a video asking his followers who have been defending him to stop because "I don't expect to be forgiven."

"None of us knew how to react or how to feel," he said of the "raw, unfiltered" footage.

"I should have never posted the video. I should have put the cameras down," he said, also apologizing to the internet and the victim's family.

The YouTube video, as well as Paul's on-camera reaction to finding the body, was widely condemned.

In Paul's subsequent video post, he referred to the previous day’s events, saying that finding a dead body was “not exactly how I planned on ending 2017.” He went on to encourage viewers to subscribe to his channel.

YouTube was also slammed for allowing content like Paul’s video to be posted. YouTube did not respond to a request for comment by NBC News early Tuesday.

Questioning YouTube role:

In November, multiple big-name advertisers pulled ads on YouTube over disturbing content involving children. YouTube terminated hundreds of accounts and removed more than 150,000 videos as a result.

Paul is not the first YouTube star to make headlines for content found to be offensive. Last February, the YouTuber known as PewDiePie posted anti-Semitic imagery in a number of videos. That resulted in widespread criticism as well as the cancellation of the second season of his reality show and removal from the Google Preferred channel.

However, the controversy did little to dent the star's following. PewDiePie currently has 58 million subscribers to his YouTube channel.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 anytime.