The Charger

Social media stars sensationalize controversy for views

Casey Duong, features editor

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From Vine stars to YouTubers, celebrities nowadays have a bigger opportunity to build a fan base and create a platform for themselves. Social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat make it easier for these influencers to update fans on their daily lives by posting pictures and videos onto their public stories.

Through “vlogs,” or blogging through videos that are often uploaded onto YouTube, subscribers can get a better look into what their favorite celebrities are doing that day. However, as innocent as this sounds, celebrities have the tendency to take this fame for granted and abuse this power.

Logan Paul was a Vine star turned YouTuber after the Vine app shut down in early 2017. He’s a well known vlogger in the YouTube industry with more than 15.9 million subscribers. His most recent scandal has blown up in the news and media. His trip to Japan’s Aokigahara Forest, nicknamed the Suicide Forest due to the vast number of suicides that occur here, sprung major backlash when he filmed and edited a video showing a man hanging from a tree. More footage appeared of him disrespecting the citizens of Japan by harassing them with dead fish and throwing stuffed toys at police officers. While he may think this is funny, the rest of the world does not.

“It was incredibly wrong,” senior Matt Misch said. “Logan Paul is really disrespectful and there’s no point to his content other than misguiding kids.”

Paul’s content is made to be amusing and entertaining but nothing about suicide is funny. His constant need for views and likes seemed to backfire on him as many people are saying his career is ruined.

Many other celebrities like Dylan O’Brien and Sophie Turner have tweeted out voicing their disgust. Though Paul claims it was a mistake, people aren’t buying it. He released an apology video on his YouTube channel but even then, people complained about how self centered it seemed.

“He’s a terrible role model but has a big following on social media so it’s hard to censor this from kids,” Misch said. “Having a bigger fanbase makes it easier for kids to be influenced by his actions.”

It seems Paul isn’t the only one who has abused his platform. A mother and father running the YouTube channel “DaddyOFive” are famous for playing cruel pranks on their son like blaming him for making a mess on the carpet when they set the scene. The video shows their son crying and defending himself as his parents swear at him and yell at him for lying.

“When people start getting hurt or if it emotionally or physically affects others, that’s when it gets to be too much,” senior Noah Letwat said. “These kids could develop psychological issues and trust issues.”

The parents defended themselves saying it was a joke and that no harm was done. But there was no sole purpose other than to gain likes and views. Others argued it’s child abuse. Celebrities often get too wrapped up in newfound fame that they lose sight of what’s okay and what crosses the line. Others don’t see a point in doing anything for views at all.

In my life, I’ve certainly done things to gain approval from people I actually know, but the idea of attempting to gain outside approval from total strangers seems odd to me and seems to speak to a larger issue in our society,” english teacher Breanne Makovec said. “I’m not sure we should have to draw a line, but maybe instead we should post things from a genuine desire to share regardless of who approves of or likes our ideas.”

There are many videos everywhere of people pranking others, whether they’re a stranger or a friend. Sure, it’s fun to watch harmless pranks for a laugh every now and then but when it begins to hurt others, it becomes unamusing.

“It’s okay to go out in public and do funny things but people shouldn’t be hurt as an end result,” Letwat said. “

Too many celebrities nowadays are taking advantage of their fame and not thinking before posting. The consequences are there for everyone, and many want this to change.

“I think that people need to engage in more face-to-face interactions to help them remember that people online are still people,” Makovec said. “We need to act with compassion and empathy in all aspects of life and stop celebrating negativity.”

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Social media stars sensationalize controversy for views