The Centurion

Is Shane Dawson the Most Trusted Man on the Internet?

Shane+Dawson-+Courtesy+of+Wikimedia+Commons+
Shane Dawson- Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Shane Dawson- Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Shane Dawson- Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Francesca Descan, Centurion Staff

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With a subscriber count of over 18 million and a total view count of more than 4 billion, Shane Dawson receives the amount of views on his YouTube channel that broadcast television networks would die for. Although his Youtube journey started out as an awkward teen filming skits at a Jenny Craig, his recent eight part docu-series have skyrocketed him from a popular online influencer to one of the most trusted men on the internet. Described by Forbes as “a legit YouTube star” and “the real deal,” Dawson has become the person that millennials turn to for information.
Dawson’s Youtube journey began in 2005, just months after the site itself launched, and he now sits as one of the most subscribed to channels on the platform. Dawson rose to internet fame with the popularity of his videos on conspiracy theories and relatable takes on life.
To loyal viewers, he has been a household name for years, but over the last few months, Dawson’s popularity has swelled– as has his previously narrow demographic– due to his highly-praised investigative work into the lives of controversial public figures and scandals. His skillful handling of these cases have earned him the trust of both influencers and viewers alike.
The current and most recent docu-series Dawson is conducting is entitled “The Mind of Jake Paul.” The series dives into the life of controversial, and infamous YouTube personality, Jake Paul. Paul, who is just 21 years old, is known for his influencer company Team 10, which he both owns and participates in.
Paul is no stranger to national headlines, or scandal: Paul was reportedly fired from the Disney Channel series “Bizaardvark”after garnering attention for lighting his pool on fire and causing chaos in a typically tight knit California community. He had also jumped on top of a news van that was outside of his graffiti-clad home.
After the stunt, Paul was the media’s least favorite wild child. Mashable went as far as to call him an “absolute terror,” and The New York Times described him as someone who has “created a roguish public image in his videos.”
As the docu-series continues to be uploaded, Dawson speculates that Paul may be a sociopath. He investigated his family life, notably Paul’s brother Logan Paul, who also made headlines for filming a dead man in the Japanese suicide forest and was suspended from YouTube as a result. And not only did Dawson speak with Paul’s notorious enemies, he had a sit-down with the internet’s favorite villain himself.
The series is already racking up roughly 20 million views per video in the first week, and, if the results are anything like Dawson’s other series, Paul and Dawson will soon both be praised. And Paul will, at the very least, seem more real to those that don’t understand him or his antics.
This was certainly the case when Dawson ade a five-part docu-series titled, “The Secret World of Jeffree Star.” The series focused on the controversial yet very successful beauty entrepreneur and YouTuber Jeffree Star.
Star has come under fire before for past racist remarks, and drama with other beauty brands and fellow YouTubers. Despite that, Star has still managed to become one of the most followed beauty channels on the Youtube with 10 million subscribers.
Such a controversial figure called for an investigation because, as Dawson explained: “If you say the name ‘Jeffree Star,’ everybody has an opinion, and I really want to get into it and see for myself if this person is really the monster that so many people claim he is.”
By the fifth part of the series, the internet had fallen for Jeffree Star. He did something that many public personalities fail to do: he owned his mistakes. He made no excuses for the things he had said and done in the past.
The part that was most relatable to viewers, and made them all #TeamJeffree, was when Dawson brought him to the first apartment he occupied in California long before he was living next door to Kardashians. While speaking and reminiscing in the small apartment, Star revealed his dark past of depression and self-harm, even showing the scars that remain visible on his body to this day.
Star and Dawson were both praised after the series– Star for being open and honest, and Dawson for being investigative yet compassionate. Two months after the series was first uploaded, it garnered over 96.7 million views. Discussion of it continues all over the internet, since it ended the careers of Star’s enemies on YouTube.
Dawson’s documentaries not only force YouTubers to look at themselves critically, but have also made Dawson reflect on his role within the streaming giant. This was evident in Dawson’s first docu-series that made headlines: it was about TanaCon, a convention held by fellow YouTuber Tana Mongeau that ended in chaos before it even started.
Dawson, who was going to be featured at the convention– despite rarely attending other public events– felt partially responsible because many attendees were going for him. While speaking with two girls who fell victim to TanaCon, they told him, “We don’t want to call it TanaCon, we came for you. So many people came for you.”
5,000 eager fans showed up to a venue that could only hold 1,000. Attendees were stranded outside for hours in the California heat, causing some fans to be rushed to the hospital. Others were left others with scorching sunburns.
The event was shut down only after six hours due to overcrowding. For those who got in, the convention was a lackluster reality of what Mongeau advertised it to be.
So what actually happened? No one in the Youtube community could solve the mystery, so Dawson was determined to discover the truth.

After taking matters into his own hands, Dawson interviewed the people involved, including Mongeau and Michael Weist, the CEO of the company organizing TanaCon.
While some truth was revealed in the 3-part series, the greatest result was Dawson becoming someone the internet decided to count on to uncover the truth.

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Is Shane Dawson the Most Trusted Man on the Internet?