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YouTube on spamming Logan Paul recommendations: ‘Our bad’


Logan Paul holding a colorful bird LoganPaulVlogs/YouTube

YouTube knows you’re tired of seeing Logan Paul’s face, and is now apologizing for recommending him to users who have no interest in watching his antics.

Following a surge of complaints, YouTube is fixing a bug that’s sending Logan Paul videos to non-subscribers. The company addressed those concerns on Twitter, apologizing and telling one YouTube user it was their “bad.”

“Our bad! We fixed it so that only Logan subscribers will get it going forward,” the tweet reads. “Apologies for the spam!”

Paul has quickly become YouTube’s most controversial creator. On Dec. 31, Paul uploaded a video of his trip to Aokigahara in Japan that featured the body of a man who had recently committed suicide. Paul’s video resulted in massive criticism, the cancellation of his YouTube Red series and his being dropped from Google’s Preferred ad program. Paul took a three-week hiatus from YouTube; he returned two weeks ago with a short documentary-style video on suicide awareness and prevention, and promised to be a more positive voice on YouTube.

It only took a couple of vlogs, however, for Paul to return to his old antics. Tasering dead rats, using questionable and offensive thumbnails, and using “suicide forest” tags to promote his monetized videos are just some of the things he’s done in recent days. The return of his juvenile behavior has YouTubers and viewers rolling their eyes, and people are even more frustrated by YouTube’s constant promotion and spamming of his videos. Part of this has to do with YouTube’s broken recommendation algorithm, which is at the center of a new controversy this week, but YouTube says its engineering team is trying to tweak it.

Spamming content from creators like Paul, not delivering new videos to subscribers and providing faulty recommendations are all issues that the YouTube community has complained about for months. YouTubers and subscribers have voiced their endless frustration with the wonky and unreliable notifications multiple times, but it wasn’t until Jan. 9 that YouTube acknowledged the problem.

“Notifications for new uploads are significantly delayed (starting this morning),” the tweet reads. “Other notifications for live streams, comments, etc are still sending. We’re actively working to fix this and will update everyone when it’s resolved.”

That’s not enough for some YouTubers, who are pointing to a new method of delivering videos and pushing notifications, similar to an RSS feed.

“I really think we need to start relying on alternative means of notifications rather than the central site,” one person commented. “This is the kind of thing that RSS has existed for over a decade specifically to solve, but purely out of a sense of small convenience we rely on a broken notification system that doesn’t mirror our preferences at all.”

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