The digital age has brought both opportunities and challenges, especially for those who grew up on the internet. With every aspect of life being documented, the standards of behavior are constantly evolving. While some individuals face consequences for past actions, others find themselves confronted with overwhelming evidence of their own misconduct.
One such individual currently facing the repercussions of her behavior is the influencer Miranda Sings, also known as Colleen Ballinger.
Despite her management team’s strong advice to avoid addressing the situation, Ballinger decided to express herself through song. In her recent release, she sings:
It’s been a while since you saw my face,
I haven’t been doing so great,
So I took a little break.
A lot of people are saying things about me that aren’t quite true.
Doesn’t matter if it’s true, though,
Just as long as it’s entertaining to you, right?
You guys having fun?”
The song titled “Toxic Gossip Train” reflects the backlash and controversies surrounding her. Ballinger’s attempt to tackle the situation with music is reminiscent of another infamous internet moment when a girl performed an interpretative dance as a misguided ‘mea culpa.’
In a similar vein, Vlog Squad star David Dobrik found himself embroiled in controversy in 2021 when a woman alleged she was assaulted during the filming of a YouTube video involving the group. Dobrik faced immediate criticism for his first apology video, notably titled ‘Let’s Talk,’ which disabled comments, leading many to question the sincerity of his message.
In his subsequent apology video, Dobrik followed the traditional format of a heartfelt expression of remorse. This time, he even showed emotions, but for many viewers, it was too little, too late. The delay in addressing the issue raised eyebrows, as it came only after several sponsors, including Bumble, HBO Max, and Audible, announced their decision to sever ties with Dobrik.
SNL would end up making a parody mashup of Dobrik and Logan Paul in a clip that breaks the wall between Hollywood celebrities and those from the social media world.
Similarly, Logan Paul, the elder Paul brother, faced significant backlash in 2018 when he uploaded a video featuring a suicide victim in Japan’s Aokigahara “suicide forest.” The incident sparked outrage, with petitions calling for the deletion of Logan’s YouTube channel. In his apology video titled “So Sorry,” Logan admitted his severe lapse in judgment and expressed a lack of expectation for forgiveness.
While Logan’s apology video received substantial backlash at the time, some viewers have drawn comparisons to David Dobrik’s series of apology videos. Some believe Logan demonstrated a greater level of sincerity and displayed noticeable changes in his behavior, making amends for his past mistakes.
Turning the spotlight back to Ballinger, she faced exposure in 2020 for sending lingerie to a minor fan. Disturbingly, it has now come to light that she engaged in inappropriate conversations with minor fans within a group chat. Moreover, there are additional allegations of her behaving inappropriately with children during past shows.
The consequences of her actions are already surfacing, with at least two companies pulling their sponsorships from Ballinger’s podcast.
The consequences of inappropriate behavior can be severe, affecting both personal and professional lives. The hope is that such incidents serve as a cautionary tale to not be creepy to children and to also try and be self aware in a crisis.