Art and Culture Kushay's Matter Bank

[AK] Why YouTubers Create Controversies – Logan Paul Case Study

This note will briefly discuss why content creators are inherently incentivized to create content that are at least borderline controversial. Source:

YouTuber Logan Paul uploaded a prank video of him toying around with dead bodies on Japan’s suicide Akohigakara forest, which causes immediate backlash from the YouTube community, The reason why there’s always a pattern of “controversial figure came out”→”they express remorse for their actions”→”everything eventually went back to normal” for a lot of YouTubers like Logan Paul, PewDiePie etc. are threefold:

1. The inherent feature of prank culture that emphases shock value. Prank videos strive to be as surprising as possible to achieve the funniest raw reactions from the prank subjects. And sometimes, what is shocking is also unethical.

2. Competition between YouTubers to create content as fast and unique as possible.  Logan Paul’s videos can earn him US$ 3K to 50K each, and there’s literally millions of prank videos circulating on YouTube. This lucrative competition pushes content creators to be as distinct as possible from the others, often leading to them making controversy for the sake of being viral.

3. Prank video fan base that are generally desensitized with “unethical actions” and is only there for the humor which means that the incentive to not be controversial isn’t that big since they know the bulk of their income won’t leave them anyway.

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