Last month, YouTuber Shane Dawson announced that he would be making a documentary about fellow YouTube personality Jake Paul, who along with his brother, Logan Paul, is considered one of the most controversial internet figures. (Logan, if you remember, filmed a video with the body of an apparent suicide victim, and Jake made headlines causing destruction while filming stunts in his neighbourhood.)
Dawson's documentary, "The Mind Of Jake Paul," has explored the Paul brothers' personalities, looking into what it means to be a sociopath, and whether or not Jake Paul or other YouTubers like his brother Logan might be one.
"YouTubers have to have some kind of personality disorder, something, right?" he asks at one point in the documentary. "To do what we do — putting ourselves on camera all the time."
Not only that, some people have taken issue with how the documentary uses creepy horror movie-esque music when Dawson brings up sociopathy, and called out how the documentary sometimes seems to conflate sociopathy with psychopathy. Logan Paul himself uploaded a video in response to Dawson's documentary, addressing that there are times in the documentary where Dawson says the word "sociopath" while the word "psychopath" flashes on the screen and vice versa.
"Some mental health professionals report [sociopathy and psychopathy are] essentially the same thing, but some forensic psychologists and criminologists say there's a difference between a psychopath and sociopath," says Amy Morin, LCSW, a psychotherapist and author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do.
Morin says that both sociopaths and psychopaths lack remorse or guilt, disregard laws, social norms, and the rights of others, and may show violent behaviour. However, she says that psychopaths are thought to be more dangerous because "they can blend into society better and may hold prestigious jobs."
"Psychopaths are thought to lack any empathy at all and they're more likely to be charming," she says. "Sociopaths are thought to be more easy to spot since they aren't as manipulative."
For his part, Dawson issued an apology to people who may have been offended by the documentary's treatment of mental health disorders, and who have been diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder.
"I’m sorry if I offended anybody," he said in a series of Snapchat videos. "If you are offended for someone who has this or thinks they have this, I am sorry, but just know my intentions were not bad."