Brands can learn from Logan Paul's You Tube suicide. / by Greg Monaco

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What a social mess!

If you haven't already heard, Logan Paul, the social media celebrity known for daily prank and stunt vlogs recently posted a horrific video featuring a corpse. He was touring Japan, creating his usual silly videos, when he and his crew decided to camp in Aokigahra "the suicide forest" at the foot of Mt. Fuji. A matter of a hundred or so yards into the adventure he spotted the body of a man who committed suicide by hanging. 

Unchartered territory for the vlogger. In the video, you can see he doesn't quite know what to do. He is equally astonished, nervous, reflective—even giddy. Paul admits that he doesn't know quite how to handle what he saw.

In a moment of hasty judgement, he shook the foundation of his own social media empire by not only posting the video but showing the body therein. His audience ranges from 8-14 year olds. Even though the video garnered 6.4 million views within the first 24 hours of upload, the backlash started immediately. 

This is the kind of territory that brands need to understand how to navigate. And Paul's youth showed. The end of the video shows him in the parking lot. His camera scans the lot showing a few children running to the trail head. Paul says, "There's kids running around. What if the kids stumbled upon this guy."

The irony is that he uploaded the video and brought the image right to the kids. The same kids he showed concern for in the video. If he, at the time, fully understood what was appropriate for his audience, I'm sure he would have made a better decision.