Logan Paul’s graphic YouTube video may have cleared initial human reviewers

Users are often quick to point fingers at artificial intelligence when graphic content slips through social media filters but a recent video of an apparent suicide victim may have slipped by more than the software filters. YouTuber Logan Paul, a 22-year-old with 15 million subscribers, apologized twice after posting a video of an apparent suicide victim earlier this week.

The video, which showed a corpse hanging from a tree in Aokigahara, nicknamed Japan’s “suicide forest,” was removed within 24 hours by Paul, but not before the video made YouTube’s trending section. Paul’s followers reportedly include many users under the age of 18, with previous vlogs covering topics from Pokémon to stunts like “surfing” on a Christmas tree pulled behind a car.

The video immediately drew criticism, but now a Twitter user working as a YouTube trusted flagger claims the video was flagged by users, but that review staff approved the video after a manual review. YouTube confirmed that the video was against the platform’s policies for graphic content but did not comment on whether or not the video passed an initial manual review.

YouTube confirmed that Paul received a strike against his channel for the incident. With the strike system, one strike is considered a warning, while two prevents users from posting for two weeks and a third will terminate the account. Strikes expire after three months.

“Our hearts go out to the family of the person featured in the video,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement to Digital Trends. “YouTube prohibits violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner. 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. We partner with safety groups such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to provide educational resources that are incorporated in our YouTube Safety Center.

While YouTube prohibits graphic content, in some cases, such as for education or a documentary — content is approved but age-restricted. For example, a historical clip of military conflict may be graphic but could be approved by YouTube’s manual review team as educational.

Paul said that the video was raw and unfiltered but that they should have put the cameras down and never posted the video. “I didn’t do it for views. I get views. I did it because I thought I could make a positive ripple on the internet, not cause a monsoon of negativity,” he wrote in an apology on Twitter. “That’s never the intention. In intended to raise awareness for suicide prevention and while I thought, ‘if this video saves just one life, it’ll be worth it,’ I was misguided by shock and awe, as portrayed in the video.”

The video comes a month after YouTube released an official statement on efforts the platform is taking to curb abuse, including adding more review staff and training the artificial intelligence algorithms to recognize more types of restricted content, including hate speech. At the time, the company said that the software led to review staff removing five times more videos that fell under the “violent extremist” category.

While the software algorithms are often blamed for slips, if the video did indeed pass a review by a staff member, the incident continues to support the idea that human reviewers are liable to make mistakes too. The incident comes a few days after ProPublica reported that review staff at Facebook were inconsistent about which posts flagged for hate speech were removed and which ones were left alone.

Computing

YouTube beats Apple, Netflix as the most trusted brand by millennials

The popular video sharing website YouTube climbed up in an annual Mblm study, moving up from third place in 2018 and coming ahead of both Apple and Netflix in final 2019 rankings. 
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (February 2019)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Web

Amazon has another shot at a live shopping channel like QVC

Amazon has launched a QVC-style shopping channel featuring slick shows produced in-house and presentations posted by brands. Viewers can interact with presenters, while a carousel below the video highlights the show's products.
Social Media

Twitter boss again teases the idea of a button to edits tweets

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has suggested the company is still looking at options for allowing people to edit tweets. Ideas include a function that gives you up to 30 seconds to recall a tweet before it goes live on the service.
Social Media

‘Instagram egg’ embarks on a new adventure as man behind it is unmasked

The Instagram egg made global headlines recently after it became the most-liked post on the photo-sharing app. The person behind the account has now been revealed, as has his reason for choosing an egg for the stunt.
Social Media

Periscope tool adds guests to feeds so streamers can become talk show hosts

Periscope users can now invite viewers to chime into the conversation with more than just the comment tool. By enabling the option to add guests, livestreamers can add guests to the conversation, in audio format only.
Photography

Crouching, climbing, and creeping, the perfect Instagram shot knows no bounds

Just how far will you go for the perfect Instagram? A recent survey shows just how willing Instagram users -- and Instagram husbands -- are to climb, lie down, embarrass themselves or let their food go cold for the perfect shot.
Social Media

Facebook’s long-promised ‘unsend’ feature arrives. Here’s how to use it

Send a message to the wrong person? Messenger now gives you 10 minutes to take it back. After an update beginning to roll out today, users can now retract messages if they act within the first 10 minutes after sending the message.
Social Media

YouTube boss admits even her own kids gave the ‘Rewind’ video a thumbs down

YouTube's 2018 Rewind video went down like a lead balloon at the end of last year, becoming the most disliked video in its history. And now YouTube's CEO has admitted that even her own kids thought it was pretty darn awful.
Social Media

Snapchat finally recovers from its redesign — so here comes an Android update

Snapchat's drop in users after launching a controversial redesign has finally stagnated. During the fourth quarter and 2018 earnings report, Snapchat shared that the company is rolling out an Android update designed to increase performance.
Social Media

Skype’s new ‘blur background’ feature could help keep you from blushing

Skype's latest feature for desktop lets you blur your background during video calls. The idea is that it keeps you as the focus instead of distracting others with whatever embarrassing things you might have on show behind you.
Social Media

Twitter users are declining but more people are seeing ads every day

Twitter's end-of-the-year report for 2018 is a mix of good and bad news. The good news is that more users are seeing adds daily, the metric the company will focus on moving forward. But the bad news is that monthly active users are…
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.