YouTube star Logan Paul has apologised after facing mass condemnation over sharing images of an apparent suicide victim in a video on his channel.

Paul, who has over 15 million subscribers on YouTube, many of whom are children, posted a video of a trip to Japan’s Aokigahara, which is also called "suicide forest" due to the high number of suicides that take place within the woods, in which he and his companions stumble what appears to be a body hanging from a tree.

The video, titled "We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest…" and allegedly began with viewer discretion warning, started with Paul telling viewers "This is the most real vlog I’ve ever posted on this channel" and to"Buckle the fuck up, because you’re never gonna see a video like this again."

According to The Verge, the video proceeded as follows:

Paul and his entourage are seen preparing to spend a night in the forest, showing off camping gear including “binoculars to see the ghosts” and “a football so we can have fun.” They troop into the woods, before the video cuts to footage of a body hanging from a rope under a tree, filmed at a distance. “Bro, did we just find a dead person in the suicide forest?” Paul asks.

The group’s guide phones the police while they approach the body, shouting “Yo, are you alive, are you fooling with us?” They film the apparent suicide victim up close, blurring his face but showing his hands, clothes, and abandoned bag. Paul then talks to the camera, saying: “Suicide is not a joke. Depression and mental illnesses are not a joke. We came here with an intent to focus on the haunted aspect of the forest. This just became very real.”

The group continue to stand around the body, filming one another’s reactions. Paul is seen struggling to suppress a laugh, saying “this was all going to be a joke, why did it become so real?” Back in the parking lot he films the emergency response crews, drinks sake, and says “that’s the life, this daily vlog life. Guys I said this in one of my first vlogs, I have chosen to entertain you guys every single day.” 

Reaction to the video has been overwhelmingly negative, with many calling for YouTube to investigate or ban Paul from its service.

Logan has since made an apology statement on Twitter, saying "This is a first for me".

"I've never faced criticism like this before, because I've never made a mistake like this before. I'm surrounded by good people and believe I make good decisions, but I'm still a human being. I can be wrong."

"I didn't do it for views," he continued. "I get views. I did it because I thought I could make a positive ripple on the Internet, not cause a monsoon of negativity. That's never the intention. I intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention...I'm often reminded of how big of a reach I truly have and with great power comes great responsibility. For the first time in my life I'm regretful to say I handled that power incorrectly. It won't happen again."

The apology hasn't gone down well either.

Paul's name is still trending globally on Twitter. and YouTube have not yet responded or commented on the controversy.

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