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YouTube sensation Logan Paul (brother of Jake, no relation to Ron) has received some intense criticism this week for posting a video of a dead body in Aokigahara, Japan’s infamous “suicide forest.” Celebrities have called him out, and he’s already taken down the video (“WE FOUND A DEAD BODY!!! **emotional*”) and issued an apology. Meanwhile, Reddit is celebrating and mocking Paul’s career-threatening misstep.
Reddit‘s meme communities, particularly r/dankmemes, aren’t known for their sensitivity when it comes to suicide. Jokes about the topic are common, and posters seem unfazed by them. Paul’s video didn’t exactly violate their sense of ethics and good taste. It’s more that memers already hated him, and his unbelievable bad judgment this week was a gift to them.
Here are some of the best Logan Paul memes mocking him for failing to realize how showing a suicide victim on YouTube would go over. A lot of them just use the exploitable image of Paul’s shocked face alongside other examples of suicide or mass death.
Warning: Some of the memes below may be considered graphic or triggering.
Remember, though, that there are hundreds of thousands (maybe millions?) of subscribers who will follow Logan Paul and his brother Jake no matter what they do.
Just remember this. Before all the extended community outrage against Logan Paul’s “we found a dead body” video, there was a seemingly uncontested 550-600,000 likes on it.— Philip DeFranco (@PhillyD) January 2, 2018
His core audience doesn’t give a fuuuuuuck. Unless youtube does something, this doesn’t hurt him.
When Mic interviewed a swarm of 10- to 14-year-old fans outside Jake Paul’s L.A. “Team 10” house last July, shortly after he made the news by disturbing his neighbors and setting his furniture on fire in his pool, several said there was literally nothing Paul could do to lose their support.
“I don’t know if there’s anything he could do,” a 14-year-old girl said. “Maybe kill someone. If he vlogged it, it would be entertaining, though.”
This is hardly the first time Paul has been called out for being a bad influence on his preteen fans. When he co-opted a Flobots song and changed the lyrics to “I can ride your girl with no handlebars,” Flobots MC Jonny Five admonished him for misogyny and objectification.
But YouTube stars have such young and loyal followings, a little hiccup with a dead body—which Logan Paul described in his apology as the first mistake he’s ever made—is hardly a career-ender. A lot of people on Reddit would sure like it to be, though.
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.