The Youtuber Logan Paul has come under fire in the last week for his disrespectful video showcasing a man's lifeless body in a Japanese forest.
Paul, who has over 15 million subscribers, posted the video on Youtube with a featured image depicting his grimacing face at the body of the dead man found in Aokigahara, known as the 'Suicide Forest' in Japan, who had died by suicide.
At the beginning of the video Logan talks about depression and the seriousness of the issue but during the video, Logan laughs with his friends and jokes "What? You've never stood next to a dead guy?".
Youtube's integrity has been questioned for allowing the video to be posted online in the first place. Many people online took umbrage with video and the audience in which it was targeted to - most of Logan's 15 million followers are under the age of 14.
DCU Student Union decided to take the good from the bad and used the story to promote rather than sensationalize mental health. In a statement released on their Facebook page, DCU SU included:
Given all that has tragically happened recently, there is a story we want to discuss. A famous Youtuber is under extreme fire for one of his vlogs in which he videoed himself going into Aokigahara (Japanese suicide forest) and actually found the body of a man who had sadly taken his own life. This was all on the camera and used for entertainment.
What will actually be done from this? Suicide is a worldwide epidemic that needs to always be taken seriously.
This YouTubers audience is 15million, most of which are young children. Why not educate them on the issue? Can we not explain how suicide is a long-term solution to a short-term problem?
For something that affects everyone, there needs to be more emphasis on helping others that suffer rather than the story. We do not see suicide as a laughing matter.
DCU ended the post by encouraging students to donate €1 to Pieta house which has caused a ripple effect. Students have been posting screenshots of their donations and tagging friends and family below the DCU post, asking them to donate to Pieta House. So far the only other Irish SU to join in has been Maynooth University who chose Jigsaw - a mental health charity for young people across Ireland.
Great work from the union.