BREAKING NEWS Many Minnesota COVID restrictions to conclude by end of May Full Story

YouTube says Logan Paul video violated its policies

YouTube is once again facing backlash for a gruesome video on its platform.Last week, social media star ...

Posted: Jan 3, 2018 8:10 AM
Updated: Jan 3, 2018 8:10 AM

YouTube is once again facing backlash for a gruesome video on its platform.

Last week, social media star Logan Paul posted a YouTube video, which appears to show a body hanging from a tree in a Japanese forest known for suicides.

The video was widely seen before he removed it. Paul has since apologized, noting he "intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention."

YouTube confirmed to CNN Tech that the video violated its policies, but declined to comment on why it was not taken down sooner.

"Our hearts go out to the family of the person featured in the video. YouTube prohibits violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner," a YouTube spokeswoman told CNN Tech. "If a video is graphic, it can only remain on the site when supported by appropriate educational or documentary information and in some cases it will be age-gated."

But the incident raises questions about why Google-owned YouTube didn't react sooner.

The platform relies on people and technology like machine learning and algorithms to monitor for violent and graphic content.

"It's not okay to post violent or gory content that's primarily intended to be shocking, sensational, or gratuitous. If a video is particularly graphic or disturbing, it should be balanced with additional context and information," according to the company's policies.

Other violent content may be age restricted. In addition, YouTube bans videos related to terrorism.

Related: Google cracks down on disturbing cartoons on YouTube Kids

YouTube is no stranger to questions about how it cracks down on content. Late last year, Google was criticized for inappropriate videos on YouTube Kids, the site's child-friendly platform. The videos included profanity and violence.

Videos for YouTube Kids are pulled from the main platform through machine learning and algorithms. However, some videos, such as cartoons that appear age appropriate, can fall through the cracks.

Google recently rolled out new policies to address the issue. For example, videos flagged as inappropriate for kids will have an age-restriction warning on the main YouTube app. Only users logged into the site who are over the age of 18 can see that content.

According to Erna Alfred Liousas, an analyst at research firm Forrester, YouTube continues to face these challenges in part because of its "vague" policies.

Paul's video "underscores the ambiguity that faces all of these platforms when it comes to how to appropriately moderate content," she said. "The issue isn't going away. It's not getting better. It's time to do more digging and investing in people and in the way the technology is surfacing this information."

Liousas said tech companies should be more transparent about their process for handling disturbing content, such as revealing the steps that happen after content is flagged and how they decide what gets taken down.

Related: YouTube and Syria: Tech's role as archivist

However, YouTube has also faced backlash for removing certain content, including its removal of videos from war-torn Syria. The move concerned advocates who were trying to maintain digital records of one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.

Paul, who posted the YouTube video in the Japanese forest, became famous from his viral micro-videos on Vine, a Twitter-owned video service that was phased out last year. Now, he creates video blogs on YouTube daily. He has over 15 million subscribers on the platform.

CNNTech's Sara Ashley O'Brien contributed to this report.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 582576

Reported Deaths: 7284
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1208311715
Ramsey50357867
Dakota45046442
Anoka40774432
Washington26338278
Stearns21901220
St. Louis17502302
Scott16980124
Wright15722135
Olmsted1309797
Sherburne1139484
Carver1031645
Clay807492
Rice7952106
Blue Earth739241
Crow Wing651888
Kandiyohi647282
Chisago581051
Otter Tail567578
Benton560197
Goodhue470872
Mower460332
Douglas459574
Winona448450
Itasca417953
McLeod417258
Morrison413660
Isanti408262
Nobles406748
Beltrami387358
Steele381015
Polk379567
Becker375449
Lyon357650
Carlton340353
Freeborn339529
Pine323521
Nicollet320943
Brown303040
Mille Lacs297152
Le Sueur285322
Todd277431
Cass265528
Meeker250140
Waseca235721
Martin227731
Roseau205019
Wabasha20313
Hubbard183341
Dodge18133
Renville178043
Redwood170836
Houston169215
Cottonwood162721
Fillmore153810
Pennington153319
Wadena152321
Chippewa151338
Faribault149919
Kanabec142424
Sibley140910
Aitkin133136
Watonwan13009
Rock127219
Jackson121211
Pipestone113826
Yellow Medicine113520
Pope10806
Murray10559
Swift103918
Stevens88511
Marshall87417
Clearwater85716
Koochiching81314
Lake80619
Wilkin79812
Lac qui Parle74922
Big Stone5934
Lincoln5733
Grant5648
Mahnomen5408
Norman5379
Unassigned48893
Kittson48122
Red Lake3957
Traverse3685
Lake of the Woods3183
Cook1560

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 364579

Reported Deaths: 5902
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57228619
Linn20701333
Scott19754239
Black Hawk15746307
Woodbury15087228
Johnson1439083
Dubuque13322209
Dallas1109597
Pottawattamie11036166
Story1054248
Warren572988
Clinton551692
Cerro Gordo535689
Sioux512474
Webster510892
Marshall480875
Muscatine473899
Des Moines451466
Wapello4283122
Buena Vista424140
Jasper413070
Plymouth400179
Lee372355
Marion360075
Jones296857
Henry290437
Carroll284752
Bremer282460
Crawford264340
Boone262334
Benton254955
Washington253050
Dickinson247343
Mahaska229250
Jackson220742
Clay214725
Kossuth214764
Tama208871
Delaware208040
Winneshiek196433
Page192121
Buchanan190431
Cedar188823
Fayette184441
Hardin184443
Wright183336
Hamilton179249
Harrison179173
Clayton168756
Butler163834
Mills161321
Madison160319
Floyd159542
Cherokee158338
Lyon157541
Poweshiek154633
Allamakee150351
Iowa147924
Hancock146434
Winnebago140831
Cass137654
Grundy135932
Calhoun135813
Emmet133740
Jefferson132135
Shelby130537
Sac130019
Appanoose128047
Louisa127849
Union127632
Mitchell125642
Chickasaw123615
Guthrie120729
Humboldt118726
Franklin116421
Palo Alto112123
Howard104122
Montgomery102737
Unassigned10070
Clarke99624
Keokuk95331
Monroe95028
Ida90334
Adair86232
Pocahontas85422
Monona82830
Davis81324
Osceola77916
Greene77610
Lucas76823
Worth7348
Taylor65612
Fremont6219
Decatur6059
Van Buren55618
Ringgold54524
Wayne53223
Audubon5069
Adams3374
Rochester
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 46°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 54°
Albert Lea
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 52°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 54°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: °
More sunshine Thursday.
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events