Shane Dawson. A well known Youtube personality who likes Taco Bell, Gucci, and Jojo Siwa. Jake Paul. Another well known Youtube personality, who likes stunts, pranks, and all things Team 10, known for being a nuisance to his neighbors, lighting fires in his pool, and putting other Team 10 members in danger in vlogs. These two Youtubers recently came together, as Shane Dawson wanted to do a series to investigate whether or not Jake Paul was a sociopath, based on his over-the-top stunts, and abuse rumors that have spread around the internet.
Shane Dawson turned this “investigation” into an eight part series, focusing on the videos he had produced, a therapist’s thoughts, Jake’s family, enemies, house/life, girlfriend, and ex-girlfriend, and finally, one-on-ones with Jake to talk about nearly everything. Some wonder why Shane Dawson would take on this video idea; it could hurt his reputation, it gives Jake Paul a platform he does not need, and many felt he would make people feel empathy for Jake, which is not what the audience wanted. Shane responded by saying, “I’ve been wanting to do some type of video about the idea that YouTubers have to have some kind of personality disorder, something not right, to do what we do”.
So first, he looks into the question: what is a sociopath? Sociopathy, also known as Anti-Personality Disorder (ASPD), is characterized as a someone who has a disregard for other people. Their traits include superficial charm, manipulativeness, pathological lying, the incapacity for love, and very shallow emotions. Many people get psychopathy and sociopathy mixed up, or believe that they are the same thing. Sociopathy is generally considered less severe than psychopathy, as many of the symptoms are similar, however sociopathy is less severe and may still feel some emotion.
Throughout the series, Shane has learned that Jake Paul is most likely, not a sociopath. However, the problems with Jake Paul seem to run deeper into some family issues, including the fact that his brother, Logan Paul admitted he has sociopathic tendencies. Shane found that starting at a young age Jake’s father was always pushing them to be better, and to be better than one another. The boys would go back and forth trying to one up each other, whether it was in sports, pranks, or life in general. This translated into his adult and Youtube life. The Paul brothers are still trying to one up each other with pranks, video ideas, and success, with Logan going as far as making a song with Jake’s ex-girlfriend.
Speaking of Jake’s ex-girlfriend, Alissa Violet was also one of focuses in the videos, as there were many controversies surrounding her. There were claims of physical abuse, emotional abuse to all of the Team 10 members, and more. But as Shane dove in, he found that many of these accusations were twisted stories that got out of hand. He had not purposefully abused anyone, he would alert people of the pranks before doing them, and many of his videos were actually staged. When Shane spoke to her, she herself admitted to knowing about the pranks.
The entire series was intended to prove whether or not Jake was a psychopath; in the end, it was determined he was not, and it possibly even left the audience with a small bit of sympathy for the younger Paul brother. It brought less sympathy to Logan, and the father of the family, and shined a new light on the entire Paul situation. But it also revealed a darker side of YouTube, and the possibility that the platform promotes unhealthy habits, and dangerous life choices.