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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Colleen Ballinger’s disastrous return to YouTube

Colleen+Ballingers+disastrous+return+to+YouTube
Lindsey Komson

Four months after the once universally loved YouTube personality Colleen Ballinger fell from grace, Ballinger returned to YouTube through her vlog channel, posting a video titled “fall vlog.”

For a mere three minutes and 13 seconds, Ballinger, whose internet persona is Miranda Sings, apologized for her “really embarrassing” video. That video, titled “hi.” currently has 16 million views where she strung her ukulele singing a song repeating the words “toxic gossip train” to describe the accusations that she had acted inappropriately towards minors.

Ballinger claimed the evidence against her was misinformation and manipulation. The video lasts a painful 10 minutes, while she glares into the camera with a soulless face.

Ballinger’s “fall vlog” was likely intentionally posted on Nov. 18, right before the six month mark, which is when YouTube can demonetize your channel for inactivity. The holiday season is also when YouTubers post the most to gain more AdSense, which is the money from advertisements in videos. YouTuber and founder of Vidcon Hank Green said creators see between 25% and 200% more income during the holidays.

In the new video Ballinger says, “I was being accused of some really awful things and I was just mad and I should’ve handled that situation with maturity and empathy, but instead I just let my ego take over and I’m really disappointed in myself.”

This shows no real accountability for her actions because she is still not truly admitting what she did. She never mentions the victims’ names or what she has specifically done to hurt people, she just remains as vague as she has in all her other videos.

Former fans of Miranda Sings alleged that the social media star had inappropriate online and live conversations and behaviors toward them while they were underage.

Adam McIntyre posted his first video addressing Ballinger three years ago, titled “colleen ballinger, stop lying.” When he was 13, he became close to the then 30-year-old Ballinger after going to two of her shows.

McIntyre claimed Ballinger shared private details about her divorce and used content he came up with as hers without paying him. He said that Ballinger and her friend Kory DeSoto mailed him lingerie, which DeSoto wore over a livestream.

McIntyre also said he was a part of a group chat which contained mostly minors and Ballinger. McIntyre said in one instance, she told the group to recreate her video of putting a tampon in her mouth. She also asked McIntyre in the groupchat “Are you a Virgin?” and “What’s your fav position?”

Becky — who chooses not to share her full name — also a former fan of Miranda Sings, posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, in June, a picture of Sings during a live performance where she opened the then 16-year-olds’ legs in a skirt during a “yoga challenge.”

The caption of the tweet says, “i’ve been debating posting this picture, but this was me on stage. she encouraged her fans to wear revealing clothing so we would get called on stage. and then she exploited us and our bodies for her own gain. so yeah, i’m okay with calling her a predator.”

Ballinger’s vlog continues as she sits in front of a white bed staring at the camera in a white and beige sweater with her hair pulled back in a ponytail. This time, without the ukulele.

“I need to take time to make sure I was listening and learning as much as possible, and I also needed to get the help that I needed to be okay,” Ballinger said.

Ballinger chose her words to gain sympathy from her audience. She wants people to be focused on what she has done to heal rather than the years of healing that others have had to go through due to her alleged abuse. Within minutes, the focus of the video shifts to her chickens and baking cookies, showing she does not really care, she just wants to appease her audience so she can move on.

Ballinger defended herself in the original apology video, stating her content is PG-13 and it’s not her responsibility to decide what is appropriate for children to see. However, her videos are geared towards a younger audience, which she knows because she sees who shows up to her performances and she sees who comments under her videos. Miranda Sings was one of the first YouTubers I watched as a child after my younger sister showed me a video, so I know for a fact that her content attracts a younger demographic.

I believe the first apology video is more of a reflection on how Ballinger really feels about the situation compared to now. This new video seems more of a PR stunt to save her brand and reputation. If she really wanted to make things right with the victims, she would apologize to them directly instead of hiring attorney Andrew Brettler who is known to work with clients convicted of rape and sexual assault.

“I have not heard from Colleen Ballinger at all, I do not have her blocked on any social media, she does not have me blocked on any social media, my emails are public, everything is public, I have not heard anything so this is incredibly performative,” McIntyre said in a YouTube video reacting to the “fall vlog.”

This is not a simple mistake, but a pattern of behavior Ballinger has shown throughout the years. It doesn’t matter how lonely or desperate you are, it doesn’t make taking advantage of children that look up to you as a role model acceptable in any capacity. As a viewer, it feels like betrayal to have someone you have watched for so many years be able to sit there and lie about the extent she has harmed these victims. It is hard to decipher what is true of what Ballinger has said throughout the years.

Taking a break from the platform or a video of you sitting on the floor doesn’t prove you’ve done any work to change your actions. Telling the truth, apologizing offline, taking down content that involves inappropriate behavior and doing your best to be a role model fans should look up to are actions worthy of fame. For now, maybe Ballinger should click the sign out button.

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About the Contributors
Krystal Miller, Associate Arts & Life Editor
Lindsey Komson, Associate Design Editor

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