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Opinion: We Need to Talk About the Paul Brothers

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We’ve got to talk about the Paul brothers. Not just in the way of writing them off as obnoxious, outrageous ex-Vine stars, but actually addressing their behavior that has been harmful to the people around them.

Though it seems as though many people despise the two brothers, their fanbase on YouTube continues to expand. Jake Paul has about 13 million subscribers, and Logan Paul has almost 16 million subscribers. It would be difficult to slow down the growth of their channels, which have allowed them to expand on other platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram. Even with this difficulty of stunting their growth as social media figures, there can still be discussions in which people can evaluate their actions and how it can be hurtful and leave a bad impression toward their audience, which includes younger teenagers.

The biggest controversy that one of the brothers was faced with was the doxxing of rapper Post Malone.

When Jake Paul saw that Post Malone purchased his merch, he was met with some confusion, because the rapper was clowning him on the general awfulness of his song “It’s Everyday Bro.” So, Jake Paul decided to question him about it. He pulled his address from the merch purchase, then made a visit to Malone’s house to drop the merch off. He recorded the visit, showing the outside of Post Malone’s house and all of its surroundings. Also, there was a camera shooting across the street that Jake Paul didn’t tell him about. Jake Paul violated someone’s privacy, showing a sense of irresponsibility and deceit that he is capable of. Those are not the qualities that need to be showcased to audience members who are under the age of 14 because they have a higher chance of being more impressionable than any other members.

After a situation like this, it would make someone think that was just the worst that could happen. That only one brother could be capable of doing something horrible, and that the other would just be faced with the responsibility of creating mediocre content. But, it appears that when one of the Paul brothers does something bad, the other brother does something that is the next step above that action. As one of my favorite Viners-turned-Youtubers, Drew Gooden, puts it, “It’s like this endless cycle of two dumbasses trying to out dumbass each other.”

The next step, for Logan Paul, was his visit to Japan.

It hadn’t been a full week of the new year before Logan Paul released a vlog of his visit to Japan, which included an exploration of Aokigahara. Aokigahara is a forest that has been a site where people commit suicide. With this, the forest should be the last place a Youtuber like Logan Paul should touch. And that’s because, when he got there with his crew, they discovered someone who committed suicide. In the original video, the body isn’t even entirely blurred out. Logan talks about how the vlog was supposed to be “fun,” but that opens up an odd definition of what he thinks “fun” is. The idea was a bad one from the start because he was exploiting the act of suicide in order to gain views. Logan Paul gave two apologies: a self-serving, written one, and a more sincere video apology.

After all of this went down, there was a video showing what Logan Paul’s trip to Japan was actually like. It included throwing Poké Balls at people, sitting raw fish on the trunks of cars and pressing them against windows, and running around in a kimono while screaming. Everything about his trip was completely disrespectful and out of line.

It gets worse. There was a video leaked of Jake Paul doing a (bad) freestyle, in which he dropped the n-word several times.

This could make people conflicted over which incident to pay the most attention to. That’s when it needs to be made clear that their mistakes can be focused on all at once. One of their actions shouldn’t be disregarded because the other did something just as bad, or something worse. Their actions should be evaluated together, and teach people how the greed for popularity and views can be damaging. And, even though the brothers are popular, that doesn’t mean that they can get away with what they have done.

News sources have actually done a pretty solid job of calling the both of the brothers out for the videos that showed their behavior. This needs to keep being done, so creators on any social media platform can be held accountable for the awful, hurtful things that they do.

Photo: Reagan Woods, VOX

Melina, 17, is a senior at DeKalb School of the Arts who enjoys collecting records. 

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