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Viral Visionaries

Viral Visionaries: Are we becoming desensitised to online content?

Viral Visionaries: Are we becoming desensitised to online content?

This year wasted no time in presenting us with a fresh new YouTube controversy. This time, the platform's star creator Logan Paul was the subject of a scandal, after he uploaded a video featuring a dead body.

We asked our panel of Viral Visionaries what they think the result of Logan Paul's actions will be, and is it possible that we are becoming desensitised to extreme behaviour online?

If you'd like to have your opinion featured in our Viral Visionaries, email our editor at [email protected]

Macy Mills Head of Business Development GameInfluencer GmbH

Competition among the top YouTube creators has become so fierce that influencers have gone to extreme lengths to garner the most amount of views.

While it is important for influencers to have creative freedom or to feel comfortable experimenting with new and exciting ideas, creators have to be wary of their responsibility as well.

Pushing boundaries will get them their desired views, but crossing them can only lead to public vitriol, as with the current situation. Logan has put YouTube in the precarious position of having to monitor its stars.

However, Logan’s actions can hopefully serve as an important lesson for other creators. In today’s clickbait world, an influencer's reach can extend far beyond his/her fans; these popular influencers must realize that their chosen words and actions will have a lasting impact on those around them.

As Influencer Marketing professionals, this only reaffirms the importance of knowing and learning which talents to work with so as to represent our clients' brands in the most positive light.

Jodi Sahlin Head of Influencer Marketing Space Ape Games

I think that Youtube will be proactively monitoring larger channels as they upload. If the victim was American, the situation would have been much worse for YouTube in regards to community uproar and/or lawsuits.

They are definitely going to become a bit more strict on what's uploaded for the next year.
The main question that should be raised is: What other content is flying under the radar if this massive channel went unflagged for a half a million views.

We have become a bit desensitised to extreme content but I think in this particular situation it was moreseen as 'Fake News' I would have assumed that it was a sick joke rather than an actual corpse.

Philip Hickey VP, Marketing & Communications Seriously

Philip Hickey is a former professional basketball player turned award-winning marketeer. Currently, he is responsible for marketing and communications at Seriously.

It feels like we say “policies need to be in place so something like this doesn’t happen again” more frequently these days. The recent episode with the Logan Paul YouTube video is no exception.

This circumstance highlights the responsibility that all social media channels face, as well as the caution brands need to take in the quick-moving world of influencer marketing.

Due to YouTube’s evolution into a prominent media platform, its stars should be held to the same standards as a traditional actors and producers of content. As important it is to encourage and allow for creative freedom, YouTube will need to hold their creators accountable for the content that they produce.

Pascal Clarysse Head of global growth SUPERPOWER

Pascal Clarysse started looking for so-called Growth Hacks a good decade before the buzzword was coined.

Clarysse used to be the marketing driving force at Lik-Sang.com, where he was in charge of relentlessly spotting new trends, waves and magic holes. In recent years, he's served as a marketing consultant for various indie studios, participating in launching mobile games and the occasional Kickstarter campaign.

Sometimes stand-up comedians make a joke in bad taste and get booed instead of getting the laughs they were going for. Sometimes the joke is in such bad taste and so offensive to so many people, that the comedians feel like they need to apologize the next day.

A few of them though have made a policy of never apologizing. The prodigious Dave Chappelle for example. Because it goes with the nature of their craft, he assesses. It comes with the territory. Baseball players try to swing for the fences when they bat, and sometimes it's a home run. Most of the times, they miss the ball.

Logan Paul didn't promote hatred or bigotry in any way - he leaves that to the President of the United States. He also didn't harass anyone sexually, he leaves that to a few Hollywood stars, Christian priests and mogul producers.

All he did was a poorly inspired video about a touchy subject, for which he lacked empathy. And for that he now gets a big huge wave of consequences and outrage thrown at him.

We have lived through a full year of YouTube creators one-upping themselves looking for controversy. Why? Because it gets the views. And the views metrics are not just vanity for them; it's what earns them money. Mechanically. So if they are guilty of posting the content, we as a society are sure guilty of watching it.

Are we desensitised as a public? Of course we are. Each generation a little bit more than the previous one. Because of the way entertainment and media as a whole have evolved since the late 1970s. It's all about the ratings, the ticket sales and nowadays the clicks.

It's always more sensational. Always more sex. Always more scandals. Always more violence. And we see it all, every single day, at an always accelerated rhythm, with each technological breakthrough. Does this affect our emotions? Of course it does.

In fact, it mixes up our emotions completely. While we are all pretending to be outraged at Logan Paul for his bad taste video about suicide. None of us really cares or feels outraged about the daily suicides actually happening at these hot spots.

Or at least, no-one cares enough to write home about it. We spent all that proverbial ink about how Logan Paul is a bad boy and should be punished, rather than debating the root causes of suicide and why it's on the rise in western developed countries at the moment. TL:DR, right?

Did Logan Paul do something wrong? Yes, he did. Does he deserve all the public outcry he gets for it. No, he doesn't. The kid made a mistake, apologized and took some time off to reflect. Do we really need to punish him as hard as we can in his wallet for that mistake? Should we digitally lynch him?

We, as a society, are watching their spectacles and then enjoy killing our idols for the fun of it way too much. Paris Hilton, when she drinks and drives, should apologize and face justice for her wrong behavior, but it shouldn't be getting weeks upon weeks of media frenzy going on and on about how such a terrible disgrace this is.

Same here, Logan Paul made a mistake and should apologize for the poor example he has set, but who are we to all now judge him in unison and ostracize him away from the group, as if he was any different, as it this couldn't happen to anyone involved in the space one day or another, one way or another?

Have we never made any mistake in our youth (the man is twenty-something as far as I know)? Or were we just lucky enough that we didn't have millions of people watching when we did?

Let's cut the hypocrisy. Logan Paul has never let me down. He's enthusiastic about his work and reliable about his word. He has never screwed up any brand deal for diva caprices. I have no reason to stop working with him. I will keep offering him to my clients who are more the startup type and don't have yet a big brand and stock-exchange listed companies to protect, and I'll defend why there is no reason to treat him like he has the plague to those who care to listen.

I'll probably get a good discount because of the market overreacting to his slip. Because at the end of the storm, that's about what this is: a slip on a banana peel. And all you get for that in my book is a slap on the wrist. "A slap for a slip", anything else is disproportionate.

Hate the game, not the players - these creators all live in the Warholian era, and they're all chasing their 15-minutes of fame, because the system conditions them and incentivizes them to do that. At least they're not going mass-murderer to get their momentum in the news cycle. Logan Paul disrespected a corpse and shouldn't have, but he didn't kill anyone.

Mic drop

 


Influencer Editor

Danielle Partis is Editor of InfluencerUpdate.biz. She was previously the lead content creator for TeamRock Games, as well as contributing to outlets such as Metal Hammer, both online and in-print. Prior to that, Danielle worked as a freelance PR consultant and freelance journalist for a number of outlets.

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