- Shane Dawson’s most recent video is a profile of YouTuber Eugenia Cooney and her journey towards recovering from an eating disorder.
- However, creators like Jaclyn Glenn, David Michael Frank, and Evangeline DeMuro posted a video on Glenn’s channel saying that Dawson’s project does not include the darker details about Cooney’s path to recovery, which they say they witnessed firsthand.
- The three say they fear that she could still be in a bad situation, especially under the care of her relatives.
- Some criticized them for publicly sharing details about Cooney without her permission during this time, while others argued that sharing their side of the story was important.
Shane Dawson’s “The Return of Eugenia Cooney” Video
After Shane Dawson made a video about Eugenia Cooney’s recovery from an eating disorder, Jaclyn Glenn spoke out about the dark side of Cooney’s story that she says went untold.
On Friday, Dawson uploaded an hour-long video called “The Return of Eugenia Cooney.” The video tells the story of Cooney, a YouTuber who has long been the subject of public concern due to her weight and physical appearance. When Cooney started her YouTube channel in 2013, she was thin, but fans noticed her get visibly thinner as time went on, which caused many to suspect Cooney was struggling with an eating disorder.
Many comments on her videos were related to this, and some even petitioned to have her removed from social media sites because they argued she was sending an unhealthy message to her followers. For a long time, she avoided speaking about the subject or brushed comments off by saying she was fine.
In January, she uploaded a video of herself looking extremely thin, which caused people to become incredibly concerned. The following month, she announced that she was taking a break from social media to work with a doctor, but did not give any more details than that. Many assumed it was related to her weight.
In Dawson’s video, she confirmed this was the case. While she did not give her condition a label, she told Dawson that she was dealing with an eating disorder. Dawson told the audience that she is out of rehab, and that he wants this video to help others who could be struggling.
“This, to me, feels like the most important thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “I don’t want to fuck this up, I want to do this right.”
He also spoke with YouTuber and therapist Kati Morton about the subject so he could try his best to use the right language when discussing eating disorders.
When Dawson arrived at Cooney’s house, her lawyer was present. Cooney gave him a tour while they made light conversation about the decorations and Cooney’s upbeat personality. He says he asked her if anything was off-limits, and she said nothing that could help someone would be.
When Dawson asks Cooney if her friends helped her behind the scenes throughout this process, she gave a mixed answer.
“Yeah, there were some people that were, then there was kind of, some people that kind of like really weren’t, really,” she said. “There was almost like some people that like never said anything before, but then later one were like, kind of like bullying me into like trying to make like, decisions for me. And kind of like, they were just not wanting to listen to me at all not wanting to hear like, how I’m feeling.”
“But then I also have like, you know, good people in my life that like, did genuinely, like really do care,” she added.
Cooney elaborated on events that lead up to her entering rehab, including her noticing that she should be eating more, and her family telling her the same. She said that receiving comments about her weight online only made her situation worse.
“Then there was like, certain people that would like make videos about me and like talk about my body a little bit,” she said. “It kind of like was really affecting me like really badly, and like making me feel really bad and like, not taking care of myself, like really, in a really bad like mind state. I guess it was just, kind of like, progressing, and I wasn’t like really doing much to like stop that. I guess it like eventually, it just like, felt at a point where I like realized it would be a good idea to like, get some help for that.”
The two dove deeper into what her program in rehab entailed, and what she learned while in treatment. Dawson kept the video lighthearted, and he and Cooney did their makeup together in part of it. He suggested she make a “What I Missed While I was in Rehab” video, which she has already uploaded to her channel, along with an “I’m Back” video.
Dawson calls her recovery a miracle. “The fact that she is, I think, doing better, is, I don’t want to use the word like, a miracle. Is it wrong to use that word,” Dawson asks Morton.
“Anybody getting better you could say is a miracle,” she responds.
Reactions to Shane Dawson’s Video
The video has been viewed over 20 million times, and reactions have been mixed. Some have thanked Dawson for making a video on Cooney.
Cooney also noted that she is seeing a lot of positivity flowing her way as a result of the video.
However, others were rubbed the wrong way by the video, arguing that it did not take the subject matter as seriously as it should have.
Jaclyn Glenn Responds
One of the most notable reactions came from YouTuber Jaclyn Glenn, who says she was Cooney’s friend. After Shane posted his video, she uploaded two videos called “The Return Of Eugenia Cooney – The Real Truth.” One was a 24-minute long story, and the other was a 3-minute long TLDR version of it.
Her video features her along with two other creators: David Michael Frank and Evangeline DeMuro. The three said that even though Dawson probably had good intentions, his video glossed over a lot of the grittier details about Cooney’s path to rehab, which they were all a part of.
Her video opens with the clip of Cooney saying she was bullied by friends who were making decisions for her. They feel that comment was aimed towards them. Jaclyn said that watching Shane’s video was hard to do, especially having lived through the darker side of what really happened.
They said that fans and others, including themselves, would often call the cops in order to help Cooney, but she developed a “script” to make officers think she was fine.
“This video with Shane is another example of a script,” said Frank. “And the police, or Shane in this situation, walking away feeling that that person is fine and I don’t know if that’s the truth.”
They also added that they staged an intervention for Cooney where she could speak privately with mental health professionals. It would then be up to those professionals to decide the next steps.
“They were really concerned,” said Glenn. “They decided they wanted to take her into care, and they ordered something called a 5150 and it’s mandatory.”
Once this decision was made, Cooney fought back. Her mother allegedly got involved and yelled at Glenn, swearing at her, and asking why a friend would do this.
“She called the cops on me and tried to have me arrested for kidnapping,” Glenn claimed. “So when Eugenia was trying to leave we had two sets of cops show up. One to take her into care and one to arrest me for kidnapping.”
She explained that this situation was eventually sorted out, but there were still tensions between the group and Cooney’s family. The group believes toxic people in Cooney’s life were using Dawson’s video to make the situation look fine to the public.
“Yeah, Eugenia is a great person and I love her and I care about her,” Glenn said. “But the people surrounding her in her life, I feel like, are dangerous, and I think they were aware of Shane’s potential to cover their tracks and make this look like some kind of beautiful recovery story.”
The three went on to say that they think Cooney’s mom is manipulating her daughter’s life. They even went so far as to say she was killing Cooney.
“All I know is I’m doing what I think is right and not letting a lie persist,” Glenn said.
The group wished Cooney well, but also said they had reason to believe she may not be.
Reactions to Jaclyn Glenn’s Video
There were also mixed reactions to this video, with many arguing that Glenn should not have posted this for the public to see.
Though there has been some support for Glenn. One comment on the video says, “You guys did the right thing. You see the truth. The outsiders don’t. Good job.”
“No matter what anyone says these are real friends,” another user added. “Actually taking a stand and really helping a friend rather than sitting back and accepting her denial.”
Neither Dawson nor Cooney have responded to Glenn’s video.
See what others are saying: (Cosmopolitan) (Insider) (Entertainment Tonight)
Black Mirror or Reality? Microsoft Granted Patent for Tech That Lets It Create Chatbots of Dead People
- Microsoft has been granted a patent that would allow it to create artificial intelligence chatbots of dead people using “voice data, social media posts, electronic messages, written letters, etc.”
- As Microsoft noted in its patent proposal, chatbots could also be created to imitate living people — opening the door for users to train a digital version of themselves to be used after they die.
- In the patent filing, Microsoft also suggested creating 2D or 3D models of chatbot subjects by studying images and videos of them.
- Online, many noted the similarities between Microsoft’s patent and a 2013 episode of Black Mirror in which a woman creates an AI version of her deceased boyfriend.
Microsoft Granted Controversial Patent
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted Microsoft a patent for technology that would allow it digitally revive dead people.
If implemented, Microsoft would use information like “voice data, social media posts, electronic messages, written letters, etc.,” to create artificial intelligence chatbots meant to replicate the person.
In its filing, Microsoft noted that the person could be “a friend, a relative, an acquaintance, a celebrity, a fictional character, a historical figure, a random entity, etc.”
Microsoft also noted, “the specific person may also correspond to oneself (e.g., the user creating/training the chat bot), or a version of oneself (e.g., oneself at a particular age or stage of life).”
As The Independent pointed out, that opens up the door for living users to be able to “train a digital replacement in the event of their death.”
But it doesn’t stop there. Microsoft has also suggested creating 2D or even 3D models of the person by studying images and videos of them.
Has Life Finally Become an Episode of Black Mirror?
Online, many noted the similarities between Microsoft’s patent and a 2013 episode of Black Mirror in which a character, played by Hayley Atwell, revives her recently-deceased boyfriend through an AI chatbot. As the episode progresses, that AI — played by Domhnall Gleeson — eventually becomes an exact replica android of her boyfriend.
“More people that need to remember Black Mirror is a warning sign, not a product manual,” said Tama Leaver, an internet studies professor at Curtin University in Australia.
Indeed, many critics have interpreted the episode, which focuses on the grief felt by Atwell’s character because of her loss, as an examination of “our own mortality and our desire to play God.”
“It shines a spotlight on our desperate need to reverse a natural and necessary part of life without considering the consequences on our emotional well-being,” Roxanne Sancto said in a review for Paste Magazine.
In fact, series creator Charlie Brooker said part of his direct inspiration for writing the episode was based on Twitter and the question: “What if these people were dead and it was software emulating their thoughts?”
See what others are saying: (The Independent) (IGN) (Indie Wire)
JoJo Siwa Fans Caution Against Labeling the Star’s Sexuality
- JoJo Siwa was featured in two TikTok videos Wednesday that many felt signaled her as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
- One showed her dancing and lip-syncing to Paramore’s “Aint It Fun,” along with members of the TikTok group Pride House LA. Siwa specifically mouthed the lyric “Now you’re one of us,” which is also the caption of the post.
- The second video showed her lip-syncing to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” a song that has long been heralded as an LGBTQ+ anthem.
- The 17-year-old entertainer has not directly addressed speculations about her sexuality, prompting many to caution against labeling her.
JoJo Siwa TikToks Trigger Sexuality Speculations
JoJo Siwa fans are urging the public not to label the 17-year-old entertainer’s sexuality, especially when she has not explicitly done so herself.
The request came after Siwa became a trending topic Wednesday when many speculated that she had come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
The speculations stem from two TikTok videos she was featured in. The first was posted on choreographer Kent Boyd’s account. It features him and other members of the TikTok group Pride House LA, which includes several stars from Disney Channel’s “Teen Beach Movie.”
It showed them all lip-syncing and dancing along to Paramore’s hit song “Ain’t It Fun.” Siaw specifically mouthed the lyric “Now you’re one of us.” That lyric was also the caption of the post.
Later in the day, Siwa posted a video on her personal TikTok account that featured her lip-syncing to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” a song that has long been heralded as an LGBTQ+ anthem.
Part of the lyrics she sang along to were: “No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian transgender life / I’m on the right track baby, I was born to survive.”
These posts really started all the rumors online, and things picked up when influencers like James Charles, Bretman Rock, and others expressed their support.
Many fans also left comments on the videos saying they were proud of her, and journalist Yashar Ali tweeted, “This feels like a big deal if it is what I think it is…JoJo Siwa is hugely popular with kids.”
“And as someone just pointed out, if it is what I think it is, she’s doing it at the height of her fame when she’s selling out arenas,” he continued.
Despite the wave of praise, other fans feel that it’s inappropriate and harmful to make speculations about anyone’s sexuality.
Many have even shared their own experiences coming out, reminding people not to label Siwa as anything until she explicitly chooses to share that information herself.
While Siwa hasn’t directly addressed any of the responses as of yet, she has retweeted a post that features her video, the pride flag emoji, and the caption, “@itsjojosiwa is on the right track, she was born this way.”
Still, others also noted that she has publicly asked Lady Gaga to collaborate with her in the past, so perhaps this is a signal about that happening soon.
Others believe it could also be Siwa’s way of signaling that she is an ally of the LGBTQ+ community.
See what others are saying: (Insider) (Metro) (Teen Vogue)
Google Investigates Top AI Researcher Who Was Looking Into a Previous Firing
- Google is investigating the co-leader of its Ethical AI team, Margaret Mitchell.
- While Mitchell has not been fired, her account has been locked because Google said she “exfiltrated thousands of files” and shared them with people outside of the company.
- In a tweet, Mitchell indicated that she had been “documenting current critical issues” related to the firing of another Google AI Ethicist in December.
- Sources reportedly told Axios that Mitchell had been specifically looking for messages that showed discriminatory treatment of that fired researcher.
Google Investigates Margaret Mitchell
On Tuesday, Google stated that it is now investigating the co-leader of its Ethical Al team, Margaret Mitchell.
Mitchell has reportedly not been fired, but her company email account has been locked.
According to Google, its security systems automatically lock employee accounts “when they detect that the account is at risk of compromise due to credential problems or when an automated rule involving the handling of sensitive data has been triggered.”
In this case, Google said Mitchell “exfiltrated thousands of files” and then shared them with people outside of the company.
Why Did Mitchell Begin Looking Through Files?
Mitchell’s investigation is related to the ousting of another top AI ethicist at Google, Timnit Gebru, who was fired at the beginning of December.
Before Gebru was fired, managers reportedly instructed her to withdraw an unpublished research paper upon her return from vacation. In an email to the internal listserv Google Brain Women and Allies, Gebru then voiced frustration at managers for allegedly making the decision without her input.
“You are not worth having any conversations about this, since you are not someone whose humanity (let alone expertise recognized by journalists, governments, scientists, civic organizations such as the electronic frontiers foundation etc) is acknowledged or valued in this company,” Gebru said in a critique of the decision.
Gebru’s firing led to such a massive outcry from Google employees that Google CEO Sundar Pichai pledged to investigate the situation.
On Friday, Mitchell indicated in a tweet that she was also looking into Gebru’s firing, saying that she was “documenting current critical issues from [Gebru’s] firing, point by point, inside and outside work.”
According to Axios, sources have said that Mitchell used automated scripts to siphon through messages that potentially document discriminatory treatment against Gebru.