The 8 Passengers family is pictured here with the parents, Ruby and Kevin, and their six children. They have over 2 million subscribers and receive hundreds of thousands of views on their vlogs. (Photo courtesy of 8 Passengers on YouTube)
Youtuber Trisha Paytas said in a video, “This is disgusting…this is a baby and you’re putting that out there for clickbait?”
Family vlogging has become extremely popular in recent years. There are hundreds of families that record the highlights of their days and post on the internet for the world to see. The intention behind the videos is usually to capture memories for themselves to look back upon and for viewers to see what their life is like, but some take it too far and post too much on their socials. Viewers of these families often criticize them for posting personal information about their children’s lives, and even for their ways of parenting.
The LaBrant family consists of parents Cole and Savannah, and their three children — Everleigh (8), Posie (2), and Zealand (5 months). The parents run the channel that has over 12 million subscribers. The father, Cole, originally got famous on the app Vine. He met Savannah Soutas, who posted vlogs on Youtube and had a toddler, back in 2016.
The two eventually married and continued to grow the channel that is centered around their children, particularly their oldest daughter.
Everleigh is only seven years old and already has over 5 million followers on Instagram. She has even been in commercials and has received sponsorship opportunities. Her little siblings are not far behind and also have their own Instagram accounts.
There has been a lot of controversy with the LaBrant Fam’s tweets and opinions over certain subjects, especially Cole’s. He tweeted in a now-deleted tweet, “…homosexuality and divorce are equally wrong in that they are a sin…”
In a now-deleted video they posted, they pranked their daughter Everleigh by pretending that her puppy was taken away. She was really upset, and this was all on camera and uploaded to Youtube for clickbait.
They also often use clickbait titles for views. Clickbait is using false or misleading claims designed to attract attention to viewers; it is a form of false advertising. One example is a video titled “We’re splitting up,” and many viewers thought that the family was actually being separated long-term, but Everleigh was just going to visit her grandparents for a few days. The parents act as if something dramatic and life-changing is happening, but in reality isn’t.
Some of their video ideas are a little dangerous. In one video, when Everleigh was 6 years old and Posie was a newborn, their parents left the older daughter to watch the baby alone for a while. Since Everleigh didn’t know any better, she did not hold the baby properly. Newborns have very weak necks and supporting it is absolutely necessary. Cole and Savannah should look out for their younger children better.
8 Passengers is another YouTube family that is made up of the parents Ruby and Kevin Franke. They have six children, Shari (17), Chad (15), Abby (13), Julie (11), Russell (9), and Eve (7). The mother Ruby runs the channel and uploads videos several times a week. There has been a lot of controversy with what she chooses to upload and how she treats her children.
One of the kids, Chad, was sent to a camp for “troubled teens” (Anasazi Wilderness Program) after he had some minor behavioral issues. “It’s an accumulation of things over years… and it’s reached a point where Chad needs to develop some very basic maturity skills that he’s going to need as an adult,” Kevin (the father) explained. The Anasazi camp is located in the middle of the desert, and the goal is to make the children learn discipline and life skills by surviving in the wild. In the desert, temperatures get up to well over 100°F, kids there also sleep dangerously close to fires, or even climb really steep mountains and cliffs. These risks increase the chances of kids either injuring themselves or getting killed. There have also been teens who have died from the conditions. (You can read about the camp’s goals here)
Many viewers were alarmed after learning about the type of punishments Ruby and Kevin give their children, which often involve taking some of their belongings away for several months at a time. Chad hasn’t had access to his cellphone in over a year, and his sister, Abby, claimed that she had not had hers in a while either. Ruby explained that they most likely would never get their phones back. (This video is now deleted, like many others. However, other channels reuploaded clips from various videos)
A few months ago, Chad pulled a prank on his younger brother, Russell, by convincing him that the family was going to Disneyland. After Chad pulled some other harmless pranks on his siblings, the parents took Chad’s bed away for seven months. Chad told viewers in a now-deleted video that he had been sleeping on a beanbag chair in the living room for all that time.
The youngest daughter, Eve, is “responsible” for making her lunches for school each day, despite being in first grade. One day she forgot her lunch, and Ruby refused to bring it to her in order to “teach her a lesson.” She deleted most of these videos because concerned viewers were hating on Ruby and her parenting ways.
In several of the videos, the kids are very blatant about the fact that they do not want to be on camera, but Ruby shoves a camera in their face anyway. Discussions about their personal affairs are put online, and Ruby even posts videos about one of the daughter’s acne (This is one of multiple videos about the daughter’s acne).
This family features the parents Chris and Jessica with their children, Bailey (13), Jacob (11), Parker (7), Duncan (3?), and Luke (1) — they have a family-vlogging channel. The parents raise their children well, and viewers support them.
The thing that makes this family different from the others mentioned is what they post. For example, when their pet died, Jessica (the mother) stated in a video that she would not be vlogging, so the kids could grieve in peace. This is the right thing to do because when children are emotional, they are in a very vulnerable state, which is probably not best to be put on the internet.
The thing that sets the Ballinger family, as well as other good families apart from the others. They are the epitome of what family vlogging should look like. These videos don’t expose personal information about their children, and the parents genuinely raise their children right.
Overall, vlogs that are recorded should be fun memories to look back on, not embarrassing moments and hardships faced during vulnerable times.
Hi! My name is Isabel and I am a staff writer for The Mycenaean. I am also a member of Leesville’s Math Club.