The Logan Paul Suicide Forest scandal is not one you can necessarily generalize to make claims about all other fan communities and controversies, but it is one worth considering because of the demographics of the majority of his fan base. Specifically their age. As Mashable writer Brian Koerber pointed out here, the most high-octane members of the ‘Logang’, the ones who show up at Logan Paul’s house and start a genuine riot when they spot him at Vidcon, are tweens and teens. For that 8-14 year old age group, moral judgment is being based off seeking approval from their peers. The development of conventional morality is highly influence-able at this point in a child’s psychological development, and being in a position to defend someone they feel a high degree of trust and affection for will certainly impact they way they perceive the action taken by that individual.
We saw in our literature review how such emotionally-charged relationships are cultivated, how association with celebrities online plays into forming one’s digital self, and the way content creators are incentivized to pursuit and produce whatever will drive the most attention, positive or negative. All of these factors conflated into the Logan Paul situation, and the comments we saw there formed a picture of a fan community that was on the defensive against external elements (the Logang vs detractors), ready to move on from the scandal, and interested in minimalizing any offense or damage caused by Logan Paul’s actions and video. Fan culture has evolved over the years, and with the advent of social media and instantaneous, asymmetrical communication, backlash and defense happens at a blistering pace. You have to move fast to stay relevant on YouTube, and for the fans, that means digesting and accepting poor behavior at lightning speed, then moving on and urging others to do the same.
Notably, SocialBlade still shows that Paul’s subscriber count has increased by about 2 million since the Suicide Forest video. His yearly earnings are estimated to be between $259.2K and $4.1M.