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Shane Dawson’s YouTube Series ‘Proving’ Jake Paul Is a ’Sociopath' Raises Concerns

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Shane Dawson’s new eight-part special “The Mind of Jake Paul” has received its share of criticism since the first part was released Sept. 25. Dawson’s docuseries focuses on whether or not Paul can be considered a sociopath. Dawson also infers that many YouTube personalities have personality disorders. 

Dawson’s YouTube series faced scrutiny before it aired, with many viewers threatening to boycott Dawson due to his decision to create the series. Dawson has made other docuseries about controversial YouTube personalities like Tana Mongeau and Jeffree Star.

Paul is no stranger to controversy. He was fired by Disney in 2017 after several incidents regarding his stunts and conduct in YouTube videos. Paul is the younger brother of Logan Paul, who was criticized for filming someone who died by suicide.

After the first two parts of the series aired, many viewers criticized Dawson for making light of personality disorders. Others were concerned the series would lead others to incorrectly diagnose themselves and others, further perpetuating stigma.

Dawson responded to this criticism and defended his decision. Dawson clarified that he is not diagnosing someone nor is he instructing people to diagnose others. 

Others criticized Dawson for his editing and said he misrepresented personality disorders. Sociopathy is not a recognized mental illness. The term “sociopath” is often used outside of the mental health system to describe someone with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). In the second part of his series, Dawson looked at the diagnostic material of ASPD, which some viewers found to be overly simplified. 

Dawson admitted that he “went overboard with the horror movie editing.” He said that he went back and re-edited videos part 3 to part 8.

Paul responded to the controversy, saying that it didn’t seem like Dawson was trying to figure out if he was a “sociopath,” he was labeling him one. 

Paul followed his post with another tweet stating he agreed to do the series and trusts Dawson. 

New episodes of “The Mind of Jake Paul” will continue to air over the next few weeks. It is unclear whether the series will address the controversy it’s caused so far.

The Mighty reached out to Shane Dawson and Jake Paul and has yet to hear back.

Originally published: October 2, 2018
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