Shane Dawson Conspiracy Theories Series: A Review

The videos: Part One, Part Two

I’ve been watching Shane Dawson’s videos since the era of the character sketches, long hair and emo music videos. Shane has been uploading videos on YouTube rather consistently since 2010. He’s always been iconic and I’ve always enjoyed his work, but last year he made a switch to producing video series. Shane documented things like the truth about TanaCon, the life of Jeffree Star and the layers of Jake Paul being a possible sociopath. His most recent and popular as ever series centered around conspiracy theories, which are a personal favorite of his.

I watched both videos of the two-part conspiracy theory series with my roommate within hours of their uploads. They’ve racked up tens of millions of views in such a short time. I’m sure he has broken some records.

There is a lot to unpack from these videos, considering they are both the length of a movie. In part one, Shane talked about deep fake videos. I was not very familiar with this concept beforehand, but it was probably one of the scariest topics he addressed. Deep fakes use artificial intelligence technology to put a person’s face and voice on another person. This deep fake can say whatever the creator wants, and they can be really convincing. There is so much evil that can come out of deep fakes. I’m glad Shane brought this to the viewers’ attention and included it in his series, but it also makes me paranoid. I guess his overarching theme of “don’t believe everything you see” certainly applies to this concept.

Another interesting addition to Shane’s part one video is the conspiracy that your phone is always listening. In the video, they mostly referred to iPhones, but they also talked about the smart assistant Alexa. The details of this are that your phone is constantly picking up what you’re saying, even when you’re not recording audio or video. The manipulation companies are imposing on us is freaky, and after watching his video I’m glad I have my computer camera covered and I’m a little more skeptical of my phone. It’s good to be informed of this conspiracy theory. I don’t think it’s very far-fetched.

Part two of the series got a lot more intense in some regards. Shane talked specifically about three separate subjects: Chuck E. Cheese reusing uneaten pizza, voice technology that can train and copy your voice, and an online dating nightmare that happened with one of his old friends. I am fully convinced that Chuck E. Cheese reuses pizza that has been left on tables. The theory is that the workers take the uneaten pieces, put them together with other slices, reheat the slices, and serve them to customers. They have denied these rumors, but the photo evidence is too compelling for me to believe them.

As far as the voice training technology goes, I am not convinced that it is too big of an issue. The voice itself isn’t entirely accurate sounding and you can tell it’s robotic. I’m not worried as much about that as I am with the deep fakes.

However, Shane’s friend, Brittani Louise Taylor, shared her experience of meeting someone on Tinder that went horrifyingly wrong. The general story is that Brittani met a man on the Tinder dating app and they formed a romantic relationship. Brittani started to think this man Milos wasn’t a good partner, so she wanted to leave him. But she believes Milos knew this, and Brittani ended up getting pregnant with his child and they got engaged. Milos was an abusive partner and Brittani suffered a lot of emotional trauma as well as some physical. The most tragic part of her story to me was when she said she believed Milos was trying to put Brittani and her son Rex into human trafficking in Serbia. Shane’s video explains it a lot better, but the whole situation is so heartbreaking. Brittani is safe now with her son and they are living with her mother. This devastating event is a cautionary tale and I am so glad Brittani revealed it all to us. Scary people who do horrible things are out there.

All in all, I am very pleased with Shane’s conspiracy theory series and so proud of all his work. I hope he keeps creating and I’ll be looking forward to his next project.