The streaming site posted an "open letter" to their community in five threaded tweets. YouTube apologized for taking so long to respond and releasing so little information. They also apologized for the content of Paul's video — which showed the 22-year-old and his friends traipsing through the "suicide forest" until they found a body. Paul's video contained graphic images of the victim, insensitive commentary, and even some jokes.
An open letter to our community:
Many of you have been frustrated with our lack of communication recently. You’re right to be. You deserve to know what's going on.— YouTube (@YouTube) January 9, 2018
"Like many others, we were upset by the video that was shared last week," YouTube wrote. "Suicide is not a joke, nor should it ever be a driving force for views."
The video-hosting giant seemed to applaud its community for being so quick and unanimous in their reaction to Paul's offense.
"We expect more of the creators who build their community on YouTube," they wrote, "as we're sure you do too."
However, YouTube drew some further criticism when explaining how Paul had been dealt with.
"The channel violated our community guidelines, we acted accordingly, and we are looking at further consequences," said Tuesday's statement.
Many followers in the replies took issue with this.
"You didn't act accordingly," one user wrote, "The video was reviewed, approved & allowed on trending after it had 6 million views. Logan took the video down himself."
Others echoed this sentiment, feeling that YouTube was trying to take credit for stepping in where it really hadn't. Some also questioned what "further consequences" might be coming for Paul — whose channel remains intact in its entirety. He hasn't been suspended and he still receives ad revenue for his existing videos. In fact, the whole fiasco actually helped Paul gain a significant number of subscribers.
Paul is on a self-imposed hiatus from YouTube, and social media in general.0comments
Paul's PR nightmare was just the icing on the cake for a chaotic year at YouTube. The platform has been struggling to keep sponsors interested in endorsing their grassroots stars and advertising on their videos. Many brands question YouTube's ability to monitor the content it publishes and don't see the demographic pay-out for their advertising dollars.
"[The digital video industry is] growing up," Scott Fisher, founder of talent management firm Select told The Hollywood Reporter. "A lot of content that was being monetized, shouldn't have been monetized to begin with. This is helping creators understand what brands are paying for and what they're looking for. It's not just eyeballs, it's quality eyeballs."