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The Minds of YouTubers

Image+taken+from+%40jakepaul+Instagram.
Image taken from @jakepaul Instagram.

Image taken from @jakepaul Instagram.

Image taken from @jakepaul Instagram.

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On September 25th, 2018 YouTuber Shane Dawson published a video titled “The Mind of Jake Paul” which has 21 million views. This video was the first of an eight-part docuseries delving into the life and psychology of the infamous YouTube star, Jake Paul.

If you’ve managed to stay out of YouTube drama, and haven’t heard of Jake Paul, he is the younger brother to Logan Paul, a Youtuber most known for the recent controversy revolving around a video he posted that showed a dead body. Jake has received his own share of criticism for the content on his channel, though not quite as bad as his brother’s.

Despite his very young audience, many of Jake’s videos include vicious pranks on other people, vandalism, and dangerous risk-taking behavior.  A few notable videos include when he lit his backyard pool on fire, climbed on a news van, and pranked his girlfriend by convincing her that “insane killer clowns” broke into their home.

Besides the extreme nature of his videos,  many of Jake’s former colleagues and friends have made allegations against him, accusing him of racism, bullying, and assault.

Shane Dawson has made several similar documentary-esque videos about other YouTubers including Jeffree Star and Grav3yardGirl. The reaction to those videos was overwhelmingly positive and helped both of those channels receive thousands more subscribers.

This is why many people were outraged that Shane Dawson would give the Jake Paul a platform to share his story. They believed that the series would create undue sympathy for Jake Paul and give him even more views.

On October 15th a Twitter user with the handle @kelseyloves5sos Tweeted, “Guys if watch Shanes series am I going to feel bad for jake Paul because **** him. I don’t want to feel bad for someone like him.”

Despite the criticism from fans, Shane went ahead with publishing the series.  In the first video, Shane addressed the criticism by stating his intentions. He claimed that his goal was not to make Jake Paul look good or to try to fix him, instead he wanted to learn more about Jake Paul as a person separate from his Youtube persona.

In an Instagram story months prior to the release of the video he said, “I’m very fascinated by him [Jake Paul]. How much of his life is real and how much is an act? What’s his family life like? Does he date? Does he have real friends off camera? Does he actually have that much money or is that house rented? SO. MANY. QUESTIONS.”

He also revealed that he wanted to determine if there is any evidence that Jake Paul is a sociopath, as suggested by his recklessness, apparent lack of empathy, and arrogance–all symptoms of Antisocial Social Personality Disorder or Sociopathy according the Mayo Clinic.

The remainder of the series delves into Jake’s family, his friends, his enemies, and his romantic relationships, all while exploring what motivates him and whether he is, in fact, a sociopath.

The series remained controversial and sparked debate and discussion about topics including the business and ethics of Youtube and mental health. Shane responded to this on his Twitter stating, “As I edit I realize no matter what I do a big group of people are going to be pissed at me. Either people who hate jake, people who love jake, the mental health community, sociopaths or scariest of all…. the Paul family.”

The final episode was published on October 18th. Shane Dawson is now taking a break from making videos to recuperate from what he describes as, “the most intense horrifying emotionally draining experience of [his] career.”

Have you watched the series? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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