Ruby Franke of the 8 Passengers family channel was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of child abuse.
In response, fans are recirculating old clips of the mom of six acting "awful" to her kids over the years.
One recent TikTok with 11 million views shows Franke threatening to punish her kids.
Internet users are digging up old footage of mom influencer Ruby Franke in response to her arrest on suspicions of child abuse on Wednesday. Viewers say these clips are evidence that she had long acted "awful" to her six children.
Franke — the matriarch behind the now defunct family vlog channel, 8 Passengers — was arrested alongside her business partner Jodi Hildebrandt this week. The two are listed on the Washington County Sheriff's Office's website as "in custody." The arrest came after a malnourished child was found asking someone for help, according to a statement from the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department.
8 Passengers was one of the most popular YouTube family channels, with around 2.5 million subscribers at its peak. The channel launched in 2015 and followed Franke, her husband Kevin, and their six children: Shari, Chad, Abby, Julie, Russell, and Eve. Content to the channel began to slow down over the last year until the page was completely deleted in 2023.
Though Franke could potentially face a serious legal case, fans of the channel have suspected and alleged that abuse was happening behind the scenes for years. In light of her arrest, they are now gesturing at specific instances of concern in the family's vlog archive, like a 2020 video where Chad said his parents forced him to sleep on a beanbag for seven months as punishment for a prank. Some are even pointing to eye-brow-raising parenting advice from Franke, like once likening a child's disordered eating as a kind of "hit," or dopamine rush, and asking parents not to give into it.
Numerous old YouTube clips are now going viral on TikTok and Twitter. Those who have sounded alarms over the years say they feel vindicated by the recent news, and that these clips are evidence that some form of "justice was served," as many of these posts are being captioned.
One of the most viral TikToks, which has been viewed over 11 million times since it was posted on Thursday, stitches several instances of Franke "being awful to her kids," the video maker wrote on-screen. In one clip, Franke said her youngest daughter Eve missed pre-school because she slept in by accident, and Franke refused to wake her up.
"She can't control when she wakes up," Franke's eldest child, Shari, shot back at her mom in the video. (Shari publicly broke away from her family in 2022 and has since been outspoken about criticism against her parents. On Wednesday, she voiced support for her mother's arrest.)
In another clip, she said her kids are not welcome to live with her after they turn 18. The TikTok also cut in a soundbite of Franke saying she wouldn't bring lunch to her kids at school if they forgot it at home.
Top commenters on the video said they were astonished to watch these clips — all of which were public and once aired to millions of viewers. One person wrote they couldn't fathom "the trauma they all must have," while someone else imagined that if the behavior looked bad on-camera, it must have been "way worse" behind the scenes.
The same TikTok account, @got2bviral, shared another clip that same day showing Franke forcing her daughter Eve to apologize to her multiple times for not giving her the response she wanted when she announced they were going to the movies. Eve had asked her mom "what movie" they were going to see. In the same clip, Franke filmed herself calling a babysitter for Eve as a threat that she would no longer be invited to the outing.
"Poor baby didn't do anything but still had to apologise, this has broken my heart," one comment with over 30,000 likes said. "She'll grow up to apologise to everyone for the smallest things."
Commenters were equally shocked and outraged that these scenes were so publicly aired.
"SHE FILMED THIS???" a user, who received over 13,000 upvotes, reacted.
The TikTok account @8passengersover was seemingly created to circulate similar clips. Its first video, of Shari showing support for the motion to her Instagram Stories, was posted on Wednesday. Since then, it's reshared multiple clips that have amassed millions of views.
Beyond footage of Franke with her family, it's also posted vlogs of the mom giving questionable parenting advice. In one video, Franke described children with eating disorders as though they lie and withhold eating on purpose.
"She's getting a hit by not eating, and she's getting a hit by lying," she says, responding to a parent-submitted topic titled, "MY DAUGHTER STOPPED EATING."
A commenter who said they've struggled with eating issues said this was "the worst possible reaction" to the condition a parental figure could have.
"As someone who recovered from an ED this is horrifying," someone else wrote.
Social media users are also pointing to old footage that they're now watching with new eyes in light of the arrest.
Another video by the same TikTok account clips a moment between Franke and Hildebrandt wherein the mom of six admits to being a "disconnected, selfish, aggressive, neglectful mother."
One X (formerly Twitter) post seemed to gesture at irony from a previous YouTube video. Franke is seen saying she felt "righteous anger towards adults abusing children," which was shared next to a screenshot of the sheriff's county booking status that she was arrested on suspicion of two counts of aggravated child abuse. The video was posted to Franke and Hildebrandt's joint channel, ConneXions, which they touted as a life and parenting improvement counseling program.
"Can we say hypocrite," one person commented on the clip.
Franke and Hildebrant are currently being held without bail in Utah due to a court order, and they face up to 15 years in prison for each of the aggravated child abuse charges.
Franke and her attorney did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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