THE camera zooms in on the corpse of a man who has taken his own life just hours before.

It films his hands, blurring only his face while the noose around is neck is in plain sight.

"Dude, his hands are purple. He did this this morning ... he's got stuff in his pants," Logan Paul, one of the most famous YouTubers in the world, says.

Later on, Paul sits in the carpark of Japan's Aokigahara forest, otherwise known as "the suicide forest", and awkwardly laughs.

YouTube star Logan Paul sees the man in the forest.
YouTube star Logan Paul sees the man in the forest.

At the end of the video, which was posted on New Year's Day, Paul attempts to tell his followers - most of whom are pre-teens - that "suicide is serious".

Then, he questions himself on camera.

"Is it bad if I do the subscribe thing? Maybe," he says.

"Nah, man, this is why I do it. So people can live the journey with me. If you're not a part of the Logang, make sure to subscribe."

And sadly, that's what a lot of people did.

BLIND FAITH

Paul's video sat on his YouTube channel for hours, amassing hundreds of thousands of likes and more than six million views.

It wasn't until the backlash from mainstream media and celebrities became so immense that the 22-year-old decided to issue a public apology and delete the video.

His second and much more sincere apology, after his first one came under fire, told his tens of millions of fans to back off.

"For my fans who are defending my actions, please don't. They do not deserve to be defended," he says.

Paul, who originally became famous for prank and stunt videos on Vine, moved to YouTube a year ago, taking with him his millions of followers - most of which are pre-teen.

Paul's fanbase, nicknamed the Logang, are as young as 10 years old.

And the YouTube star knows this. When he isn't modelling his clothing line Maverick himself, little kids often are.

 

His videos are childish, appealing to a younger generation with pranks and silly dares which begs the question, why did he post the video in the first place?

His video in the Japanese suicide forest, titled "We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest ..." with the dead man in the thumbnail, wasn't originally age-restricted.

Meaning, Paul's 15 million followers, who last year helped him become the fourth highest earner on YouTube, watched and saw the video.

And while Paul was called out by numerous celebrities and countless YouTubers, his fans' blind devotion never faltered.

Hundreds of vlogs, emulating their 22-year-old idol, have sprung up on YouTube defending Paul.

On Twitter, hordes of his young fans are defending him.

"He's not going to [quit] ... he does what he loves, don't you? He's not gonna listen to anybody that tells him to delete his social media's so just give it up and get off his page if you don't like him. SIMPLE," one girl writes.

"People are taking this the wrong way Logan Paul is still an amazing youtuber+ my favourite youtuber!!!!!!! Everyone needs to leave him alone!!! LOGANG ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!" writes another girl.

One mum films her 11-year-old son sobbing after he saw the video.

 

Dr Justin Coulson, one of Australia's leading parenting experts, said kids being exposed to videos like that is concerning.

"Young people seeing something like that can make them increasingly desensitised to the point where they see things like that purely as entertainment," Dr Coulson said.

He also said it has potential risk factors for young people already thinking about suicide.

"Someone mainstreaming that to young people puts it front and centre for them and it could be a significant risk factor," he said.

On YouTube one girl, who doesn't look old enough to be a teenager says, "it's not Logan Paul's fault that he did that. He did absolutely nothing wrong. The only thing he did was the right thing".

Another of his young fans posts a YouTube video with the title, "Ching chang chung. Shut the f**k up you suicide fa***ts. Let the Japs kille themseves ... LOGANG FOR LIFE".

It's the tragic aftermath but sadly, it's had little to no impact.

According to SocialBlade, a statistic website that tracks numbers on various social media platforms, Paul didn't even lose followers for the harrowing video.

Granted, his average addition of 40,000 followers a day dropped slightly on January 2 but by January 3, the number of people subscribing to his vlog channel was double the average. 80,000 people clicked the subscribe button.

As YouTuber Phillip DeFranco wrote on Twitter, "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.

"His core audience doesn't give a f*****ck. Unless youtube does something, this doesn't hurt him."

In 2015, Paul sat down with Business Insider where he spoke about doing "whatever it takes" to get famous.

"I want to be the biggest entertainer in the world," he said. "That's my deal. I'll do whatever it takes to get that. As many hours as is needed."

And realistically, that's exactly what he's done.

Forbes listed Paul down as making $A16 million last year, a portion of which comes from the views he gets on YouTube.

His last video, the video apologising for posting a vlog featuring a man who committed suicide, will contribute to his 2018 earnings.

It's already received 22 million views in less than a day and has only recently dropped out of the streaming site's trending list.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal feelings or mental health issues contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636. If it is an emergency please call 000.



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