Zach Sweers, also known as “Anxiety War,” has garnered over 640k subscribers and millions of views on YouTube with his vigilante-style predator busts. Zach made headlines in 2019 when Michigan prosecutors along with the state attorney general warned him to stop performing these busts for reasons of his own safety.
In this episode of Open Mike, Zach discusses how his YouTube channel began, why he feels his videos are so important, and the realities of staying safe online.
[0:04] Introducing today’s guest, Zach Sweers aka Anxiety War
[1:12] Have you lived in Grand Rapids your whole life?
[1:23] When did you start your channel?
[1:55] Why did you name your channel Anxiety War?
[2:54] Buy a t-shirt here!
[3:17] Can you tell us about your social life?
[3:52] Do you have a day job outside of your channel?
[4:23] Are your YouTube videos monetized?
[5:32] Zach talks about his family and childhood
[6:51] What was your first step into the world of catching predators?
[7:46] Zach’s computer skills helped him track down predators
[9:17] Why did you decide to confront these people?
[10:15] Is law enforcement involved in your investigations at all?
[12:16] Why didn’t law enforcement help you confront the predators?
[13:28] Have you ever considered becoming a police officer?
[13:53] Has everyone that you accused been charged?
[15:18] What was your involvement in the trials?
[16:13] Mike shows the statute that these people were charge with violation of
[17:50] How should parents protect their children online?
[20:26] How do you find predators in chatrooms?
[22:44] How many predators do you talk to at a time?
[24:01] Did the person that sued you think that you were wealthy?
[26:34] Were you scared during the lawsuit?
[27:37] Conspiracy theory that people wanted to stop Zach because he made the police look bad
[29:30] Back from the break!
[30:05] Zach was confronted by a news reporter; what does he wish he would have said?
[31:06] Why don’t the predators run from you when they realize they are being ambushed?
[33:52] Have you posted videos about all 19 predators that you have confronted
[35:27] Watch Zach’s video The most bizarre predator I’ve seen
[37:02] Do you ever bring a weapon to meet-ups with predators?
[37:36] What does your mom think about your channel?
[38:01] Has anyone ever pulled a weapon on you?
[38:37] How many predators’ cars have you gotten into?
[40:55] Are any of the people you confronted still out there and active?
[42:39] Do you do background checks on people before you meet them?
[44:00] If the police want you to stop, why haven’t you?
[46:16] Watch Zach’s video Frantic Online Predator Runs in Circles & Drops His Keys
[51:04] What’s next for you?
[52:34] Why do you keep doing what you’re doing if police and prosecutors aren’t involved?
[56:24] What is the deal with your non-predator related videos?
[58:38] Do people recognize you on the street?
[59:27] Do you have any experience in martial arts or self-defense?
[59:50] Check out Zach’s channel, Anxiety War!
[1:00:19] Thank you for watching this episode of Open Mike