Social media apology videos need to be genuine

Being straightforward and sincere without extra distractions goes a long way

Art by Mikayla Croucher

Art by Mikayla Croucher

When YouTuber Colleen Ballinger, also known for playing the character Miranda Sings, was faced with allegations of inappropriate conduct with minors, she responded with a 10-minute apology video. In the video, she deflected those allegations while playing a ukulele, labelling the people who were throwing those allegations as people “hopping on a toxic gossip train.” 

Ballinger is just one of many YouTubers who are missing the point when it comes to making apology videos. Her video has faced criticism due to her lack of accountability and for calling out people critiquing it to gain popularity. Other content creators such as Charlie White, better known as MoistCr1TiKaL, have similar videos. 

As someone who has unfortunately seen too many apology videos on YouTube, Ballinger’s was definitely the worst one to go through and I wish I never saw it. 

After seeing these apology videos, content creators on YouTube should be more sincere and straightforward with their apologies. Those getting in trouble and making apology videos have to be held more accountable and do better. 

When I think about the apology videos I’ve seen posted to social media, they have at least one of the following characteristics — coming off as insincere, missing the reason for why they have to apologize, and not taking any accountability for their actions or words.

One example of an awful apology video is from Sienna Mae, a content creator on TikTok. 

After allegations of sexual assault against fellow TikTok content creator, Jack Wright, she posted an apology video on YouTube before eventually taking it down. In the video, she performs a dance and talks about how much she likes creating content and inspiring people. 

However, she doesn’t seem to mention any apologies in the video, which defeats the point of making one in the first place. Also, the song used in the video has a repeating line about doing nothing wrong, which comes off as inappropriate considering the allegations against her. 

Another terrible apology video from a few years ago comes from YouTuber Logan Paul where he responded to the controversy around a video he posted of him going to a forest and filming a corpse up close. There was a public statement sent out by Paul about the incident, but I would question calling it a proper apology. 

He says some comments about making mistakes and being caught up in the moment, but I don’t think the average person would mindlessly think about showcasing a dead person. He says he also didn’t do it for views, but again, putting a dead person front and center for a video is a horrible way to draw attention. There were also questionable inclusions such as an emoji and a hashtag as well.

Some time after the tweet, Paul then made a quick apology video on YouTube where he seems to show more remorse for his actions. However, my issue with this apology is that he should have done it in the first place instead of making that tweet and seemed like he had to be guided on what to feel sorry for.

At this point, I feel like YouTubers are putting out these videos to only try to salvage their reputation, not because they feel any remorse. It’s not worth hearing them out if it doesn’t feel genuine. 

Being straightforward, sincere, and showing remorse and improvement in their actions are characteristics you’d think would be the main points of the apology, but it’s not shown enough, and that has to change.