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YouTube demotes Logan Paul, puts new projects on hold

By | Published on Thursday 11 January 2018

Logan Paul

Having said earlier this week that it was “looking at further consequences” for YouTube celebrity Logan Paul, the Google-owned video platform has acted. Paul has been dropped from the Google Preferred advertising programme, and a number of projects for the YouTube Red subscription service have been cancelled.

Paul drew widespread criticism recently when he posted a video to his daily vlog channel in which he and friends posed next to and laughed at an apparent suicide victim in Japan’s notorious Aokigahara forest. The channel has over fifteen million subscribers and the video gained over a million views and 500,000 likes in the brief period it was online before being deleted. Paul later issued an apology, claiming he had been attempting to promote suicide prevention.

YouTube was also criticised for its lack of action on the matter, and earlier this week responded in a series of tweets. “Like many others, we were upset by the video that was shared last week”, it said. “We expect more of the creators who build their community on YouTube, as we’re sure you do too. The channel violated our community guidelines, we acted accordingly, and we are looking at further consequences”.

In a statement this morning, YouTube said that it was putting all of its original content projects with Paul on hold. This means he is dropped from YouTube’s ‘Foursome’ sitcom, which is available through the YouTube Red subscription service. The third season of the show appeared on the platform in November.

Also now in doubt is the sequel to Paul’s own sci-fi movie, ‘The Thinning’. Made available on YouTube Red in 2016 (or as a standalone rental in the UK), plans for the follow-up, ‘The Thinning: New World Order’, were announced last year. The film was expected to premiere later in 2018, although it is not clear if it will now be shelved permanently.

Given that the first film was reviewed heroically badly, and it’s still not really clear how many people actually subscribe to YouTube Red, these may not be massively damaging sanctions. Potentially more of a blow for Paul is being dropped from Google Preferred.

The Google Preferred programme gives advertisers access to the top 5% of content on YouTube. This guarantees adverts to be placed against the most popular (if not highest quality) videos on the website. For this, of course, the advertisers pay a premium, which will have aided Paul in reaching the estimated $500,000 a month he earns from his videos.

By being dumped down to the level of a standard YouTube user, the money he can earn from advertising on his channels will be reduced, although he will still likely be able to make a pretty decent income given his subscriber numbers.

Paul’s vlog channel has also received a ‘strike’, said YouTube. If any channel receives three strikes within a three month period it is automatically terminated. Though it seems unlikely his channel will gain two more strikes by mid-April, particularly given that Paul is not even posting videos to the channel at the moment, as he is “taking time to reflect”.