In the space of a year, Shane Dawson went from successful YouTuber to one the of the most innovative creators on the platform thanks to his longform investigations into online culture. The 30-year-old broke into mainstream popularity in 2018 with his three-part documentary about TanaCon, which revealed the layers of disaster behind Tana Mongeau's failed convention. He followed that with an eight-part series all about controversial YouTuber Jake Paul. Now, he's giving the documentary treatment to something he's already dabbled in quite a bit on his channel: conspiracy theories.
Previously, the creator would dedicate half-hour or so videos to a handful of conspiracy theories every few months, using the more traditional YouTube format of sitting and talking to the camera. Conspiracy Theories, Dawson's new two-part documentary, is totally different.
Part One was released on Wednesday and clocks in at one hour and forty four minutes. It already had more than 8 million views, and it's easy to see why: Instead of simply talking to the camera, Dawson has actual on-the-ground investigative reporting and deep dives into each conspiracy theory that often involve him trying them out himself.
In Part One, Dawson dedicates ten to twenty minutes to each of his chosen conspiracy theories. Before you settle down to watch, here are the supposed conspiracies Dawson is investigating.
Your iPhone Is Always Recording You
That FaceTime glitch that allowed callers to eavesdrop on conversations before the other prson answered? Yeah, that's just the tip of the iceberg. Did you know people have experienced that with normal phone calls? That Live Photos also record sound? And how does Siri know when you're talking to it if it wasn't already listening?
Deepfakes Will End The World
Deepfakes, or when people use complicated technology to transplant one person's face onto another's in a video, have become a big issue in porn. Dawson explores both that and the far-reaching consequences Deepfakes could have in politics.
Children Are Being Brainwashed By Cartoons
Have you ever watched those compilations of secret sexual messages in animated Disney movies and cartoons? There's an even darker version of that out there, and it involves the promotion of suicide in children's cartoons. Sponge Bob is one example, but this dates back to the 30s, and could be the root of current mental health issues.
Walt Disney Is Currently Frozen Somewhere
There's a possibility that one day, humans could be frozen and brought back to life in the future. There's also a persistent rumor that Walt Disney is already in the middle of it. How the movie Frozen might play into all this is downright chilling.
Stores Are Using Subliminal Messaging
There's a reason grocery stores are set up the way they are, and that extends to stores all over, including Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister. This one is more about the realities of marketing and human nature than it is a conspiracy — but it's still not nice to realize stores are manipulating consumers.
There's More To The California Wildfires
This theory started with the fact that some houses burned down in the 2018 California wildfires while others right next to them didn't. How did it start? Who was behind it? And is there a chance this all happened on purpose?
Watch Part One of Conspiracy Theories below.