Someone named Logan Paul posted a video of a dead man hanging from a tree. An apparent victim of suicide. Until five minutes ago the video was live and had in excess of 6.5 million views and a half a million likes. His audience is massive and skews young and male.
The hanging man had a family.
Presumably Logan Paul has a mother, and presumably, she’s mortified right about now.
I don’t know how to tell you to talk to your kids about this. There are a lot of links on the front page of Google from every silly news organization out there. Knowing how articles are researched (and not) lately I think that the only reliable piece of information I can present to you is this article from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
I know everyone likes to worry about porn filters. You don’t want your kids to learn about “adult things” whatever they may be, but we’re past the point of pretending that kids haven’t seen sex online.
So our new talks are about what to do when a known sociopath posts a video of a violent death. How do we keep our children (and adults) from being numbed to the sadness, the devastation, the inhumanity of this? How do we check in with the people we know, the folks who turn inward, the folks who are just too happy… too private? I don’t know. I have a lot of questions.
We do need to be aware that YouTube takes videos like mine about how to insert a Diva Cup and marks them as not appropriate for advertisers. YouTube videos that feature grisly deaths are somehow okay. Don’t even ask about what happens with an LGBTQ kiss (spoiler alert! it’s restricted!).
Talk to your kids. Talk to them about community. The best way to talk to them is with your ears. Listen. A lot.
And try to do all that talking and listening with no judgment for your kids. But judge the hell out of YouTube, they deserve it right now.