Thousands have signed a petition demanding that YouTube star Logan Paul's channel be deleted after he posted a video showing the body of a person who presumably committed suicide.
Video of the visit to Japan's Aokigahara forest, a well-known destination for people looking to end their own lives, was deleted after Paul was assailed online for his decision to post the video and for his on-camera behavior after stumbling upon the person hanging from a tree.
Before it was deleted, however, the video was viewed some six million times.
"Logan Paul has uploaded a vlog today of him going up to a body in Japan's suicide forest, a body of a hanging man," the creator of the Change.org petition, who is from Columbus, Ohio, wrote. "All he did was blur the deceased man's face out. He got close to the body and told the camera how the skin was 'blue' while showing the skin.
As of Wednesday morning, despite two separate apologies issued by Paul, the petition was closing in on 60,000 signatures.
In one apology, Paul wrote that he "intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention."
"I was misguided by the shock and awe, as portrayed in the video," Paul told his followers.
As criticism against him grew — and as many called for his channel's removal — Paul posted an emotional video apology on Twitter.
"I had a severe and continuous lapse in my judgment," Paul said. "I don't expect to be forgiven. I'm simply here to apologize."
In an apparent response to those who took offense to Paul's uncomfortable laughter in the video after he found the body, Paul said:
"The actions you saw on tape were raw, unfiltered. None of us knew how to react. I should have never posted the video. I should have put the cameras down... There's a lot of things I should have done different, but I didn't. And for that, from the bottom of my heart, I am sorry."
Among Paul's most prominent critics was fellow YouTuber Anna Akana.
"When my brother found my sister’s body, he screamed with horror & confusion & grief & tried to save her," Akana tweeted at Paul. "That body was a person someone loved. You do not walk into a suicide forest with a camera and claim mental health awareness."
Popular YouTube sex educator Laci Green took a more pointed stance, criticizing Paul while faulting the YouTube's culture as a whole.
"Logan paul exploiting a suicide victim in Japan to the tune of 6M+ views while youtube demonetizes students protesting in Iran is a perfect example of what a sociopathic garbage fire youtube has become. this industry has no soul left. byeee," Green tweeted.
Paul insisted he did not include the body as a way to bolster his viewership.
"I didn't do it for views," Paul said. "I get views. I did it because I thought I could make a positive ripple on the internet, not cause a monsoon of negativity. That's never the intention."