Trigger Warning: this post may contain content that can trigger a shift in mood, comfort, or mental status. Proceed at your own risk.
There was a bit of an uproar on the internet today because of a YouTube post by one of the more famous YouTube celebrities. I’m not going to post a link or even his name because I don’t want to give him any additional traffic.
He was in Japan, wandering around in a forest that has a reputation for being used by people to end their lives. He encountered one unfortunate soul hanging in a tree and kept filming. Not only that, the YouTube thumbnail showed him along with the unfortunate soul. He posted this, ostensibly not as clickbait but as mental health awareness. One of the things he said introducing the video was:
I think this definitely marks a moment in YouTube history because I’m pretty sure this has never hopefully happened to anyone on YouTube ever. Now with that said: Buckle the f–k up, because you’re never gonna see a video like this again!
He’s wrong. So very, very wrong. What he did was disgusting and shows that there’s still a long way to go when it comes to mental health and suicide awareness. There is no appropriate way to show a complete stranger hanging from a tree in a YouTube video. The first thing he should have done was shut off the cameras and contact the authorities, not seize the opportunity to do something “edgy” and “new”.
Fortunately, the video has been taken down. Whether YouTube will penalize him for the post remains to be seen. YouTube stars need views to keep the money rolling in, and the best way to tell someone that you don’t like their content or disagree with them is to not watch their material.
If you are contemplating suicide or otherwise hurting yourself or someone else, please contact your local crisis line or go to your nearest emergency room. You can find some contact numbers on the Resources page.