(Yes, I’m being lazy. But whatever. It’s my first column back.)
Earlier in February, drama swirled around Minecraft YouTuber Dream, as users made fake accounts pretending to be him and then posted heinous messages, particularly on Discord.
This was then linked to John Swan, another YouTuber over 150,000 subscribers. After Dream called Swan out for being behind the profiles and the messages, Swan retorted by claiming Dream was trying to “smear” his name.
Basically, there was some n-word action with a fake Dream Discord account. The real Dream went on some obscure subreddit to accuse John Swan of being behind it. Pretty much no one really noticed this, as far as I can tell, except one man. Swan himself.
That really is the most startling thing about all this. If you go back to the genesis of the dispute, John Swan is the one who blew up the drama in the first place. Dream had made a mostly-ignored post in a smaller subreddit. Had Swan let it go and just kept quiet, there’s a very good chance he would have come out of this unscathed. Hell, he probably could have gotten away with a comment along the lines of “Fuck this guy, I didn’t do it. But who cares anyway.”
However, that’s not the route he chose. Swan posted a long and arguably autistic Twitter thread detailing why it simply couldn’t be him. He invented a 12-year-old and claimed he was behind the shenanigans. He accused Dream of recklessly trying to smear a smaller creator. He got his YouTube friends to go along with the narrative. They all made videos about it and put their reputations on the line for this guy. Thousands of people supported him…and then…
It came out that it was all a lie. I actually thought this was going to end up being some troll at the end of the statement when I first read it:
But, alas, it wasn’t. Needless to say, the dragging began immediately:
The craziest thing about the John Swan Drama is that he blew it up himself 😂
Dream posted on a small Reddit where barely anyone would see it but John took it upon himself to throw a hissy fit built on a lie.
Big brain move
— Kavos (@KavosYT) February 27, 2021
I woke up today to find out that John Swan lied directly to me and many people in the commentary community about his interactions with Dream. I want to take the chance to apologize to @dreamwastaken for not believing him and honestly I’m just stunned this is the case.
— Optimus ⛩ (@SubToOptimus) February 27, 2021
— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) February 27, 2021
I'm glad this has come to an end, but severely disappointed in John Swan for continuing to lie about me, despite me giving him multiple opportunities to tell the truth. I would like an apology to me and my community from John Swan, but I'll probably not get one.
— dream (@dreamwastaken) February 27, 2021
So it’s been confirmed John Swan Lied about Dream
His credibility is now completely shot, I feel bad for his friends who were constantly lied too by him
This is why YouTube isn’t the place to make friends, because at the end of the day people will always look out for themselves
— Kavos (@KavosYT) February 27, 2021
John Swan can't be guilty; he was picking up boulders with his daughter when this all went down.
— Art M. (@gamerfrommars) February 27, 2021
My own personal opinion on the matter is this. I like John Swan. He’s always been cool with me and has appeared on the Killstream a few times. I enjoy much of his material and he’s an affable guy. That being said, he really fucked up here. What registers as the worst part is that he had his friends lie for him when they thought they were telling the truth. You have to protect your friends, if at all possible. He didn’t do that. Actually, he recklessly endangered their careers and reputations.
He could have easily told them, “Hey, look. I fucked up here, stay out of this one. I’ll handle it solo.” Instead, he lied directly to his close friends and even one or two of mine. You really can’t ever respect that sort of behavior.
He should have just said it was him on Discord fucking around. That he wasn’t trying to smear Dream, it was a joke that somehow got out to the wider public. He apologizes and says it won’t happen again. Or he could just say, “Suck my dick, losers. Yea I did it. You’re a pussy for getting bent out of shape over a private joke.” Either one of those would have been the way to go over the eventual route he chose.
I’m not sure about those people who are saying he’s “over,” though. He could always come back and do something else on YouTube. That would be my advice. Focus on deep dive topics, etc. I do think it would be tough to hop back into commentary, but then again, the whole internet is filled with people’s mistakes, mine included. Time will tell the story when it comes to John Swan’s career. But he made it a lot tougher by alienating so many of his natural allies. They’ll now be quite motivated, both personally and professionally, to step on his neck repeatedly.
It’ll come down to how bad he wants the comeback, because it won’t be easy. He’s arguably talented enough to do it, though.
Also, Minecraft is gay.