Investigating Shane Dawson's Conspiracy Theories

"Hey, what’s up you guys? Yes."

Over the past few years the internet has gifted us with hundreds of amazing videos about conspiracy theories. One Youtuber that has taken the conspiracy world by storm is Shane Dawson. Recently he dropped a new series, Conspiracy Theories with Shane Dawson, and people have a lot to say about it. As a fan of Shane’s, I hoped to put some of the theories he has covered throughout the years to the test.

Voice Cloning

In Shane’s latest conspiracy video, he focused on how far technology has advanced in digitally cloning someone’s voice and face. In order to see how successful the voice cloning technology is, he used an app called Lyrebird. After trying it with his voice as well as his boyfriend, Ryland’s, Ryland’s sister Morgan’s voice, and his cameraman, Andrew’s voices, the conclusion was that the technology works best when they called someone and tried to convince them it was their real voice. I hoped to try this myself so I downloaded Lyrebird and went through the series of voice tests. The experience on the website was interesting, especially since I had to wait for the website to have less traffic (in part due to Shane's series) in order to be able to record my voice. Recording was a simple batch of phrases that had to have come from some kind of short story (mine was about a guy who buys a tiny house and his friends make fun of him). After thirty sentences, I was done and had to wait for my voice to be ready. The first voice that it generated was…really not it. I even got it to the highest star rating (which is supposed to sound a lot like your voice), and it still was not great. It had some of my pitch, but it mainly sounded as if you heard an emotionless version of me ordering food through a take-out microphone. I attempted to trick my friend over the phone with it, but it was obvious right away that it was not my voice. It was really fun to try though. I think that the technology is impressive, but I would need to put more emotion into the test voice in order to get more believable results.

Apps Are Listening

We have all heard the theory that our phones are listening, specifically apps that can target ads to potential customers based on their needs. In order to put this one to the test, I started saying out loud that I needed cat litter and did not know what brand to buy (I am not in the market for cat litter, by the way). I did this about every two hours with my phone on, and I had several apps open. Here were the results: After about two days of expressing my dire need for cat litter, I found no related ads on Facebook or any other social media platforms. For me, though, this does not rule out this theory completely as I have run into several situations where I had a strong feeling that my phone heard me talking about something. Maybe my phone knew I was testing it…

Our Phone Microphones Are Always On

This goes with the idea that our apps are listening to target ads, but goes even further to say that our phone microphones are always collecting information. Shane’s video showed him calling people, noticing that you can occasionally hear what the other person is saying just before they answer the call. People claim to hear their phones buzzing if you put your ear up to the speakers. I tried this and could hear a faint buzzing, but I personally think that this has more to do with the inner workings of the phone than the microphone. However, Apple recently ran into a similar issue with FaceTime, in which users who had updated to the newest software could hear people they called through FaceTime before they answered the call. They cautioned users to not use FaceTime until the problem was resolved.

Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza

I had no idea about this theory until Shane brought it to the world’s attention. The theory is that Chuck E. Cheese’s takes pizza slices that are not eaten by customers and recycles them to make new pizzas for different customers. Sounds impossible, right? Well, Shane put this to the test by going to a Chuck E. Cheese’s, ordering three different pizzas…and the results were very surprising.

The lines of the slices did not match up, most of the pepperoni slices were missing one half, and the crust made the pizza not even a circle. Trust me, I really wanted to try this out for this article. I went on the website and to my surprise: they deliver to certain locations! I was thrilled as I was not going to have time to go to Chuck E. Cheese’s and probably not be let in because of my lack of child. However, my worst nightmare came true when I found that they would not deliver to me from any delivery services! We will have to go with the previous evidence Shane has brought us on this one…the proof is in the pizza. I just think that this theory is so interesting if it is true. Chuck E. Cheese’s has since (somewhat comically) denied this theory completely.

Honorable Mentions

Some theories that I did not get to explore but believe to be very interesting include: movie posters being practically copied in order to create nostalgia for a new movie/show (think of the posters for It Follows and Riverdale), the absurd amount of mattress stores being suspicious, life imitating art, The Simpsons predicting world events and dark messages being placed in children’s television. Make sure to check out Shane Dawson's channel for more intriguing theories!