Everyone wants to go viral.
But how do influencers feel when their viral videos receive a whole lot of negative feedback?
In a TikTok video that has racked up over 1.3 million views and over 18,000 comments, internet personality Joseph Fogg (@jfoggisback) leaned into his sex appeal to deliver what he thought was a steamy skit where he walked past a woman for the first time.
“What would you do if I walked past you like this?” text overlaid on the clip asked as Usher crooned, “Can you handle it?” in the background.
The thirst trap backlash was swift and severe. Negative comments rolled in from women in every corner of the internet.
“I’m might say ew by accident on purpose,” one viewer wrote.
“Keep walking … the shoes are a no for me,” a second added.
“Elbow my boyfriend and give him the ‘omg ewww’ face,” another said.
So how did Fogg handle all of this negative feedback?
The Daily Dot reached out to him to discuss the responses to the clip, his rise to internet fame, and what he plans to do in the aftermath of being “dragged” by the internet.
“Majority of people who have had something to say are haters,” Fogg Told The Daily Dot via phone call. “They know doggone well if I would’ve walked past them in real life, they would’ve liked it.”
Negative feedback was uncommon for the TikToker, who has over 400,000 followers and typically racks up views, likes, and comments from adoring fans. His first video went viral back in 2020 when he started posting to Instagram after friends told him his personality was made for the internet. He reached hundreds of thousands of followers before he says the site banned him for doing a “live” streaming session where he was sweaty, and milk was involved in some way deemed inappropriate by the website.
“I was depressed for 5-6 months,” he said of getting his Instagram account deactivated.
@jfoggisback What would you do? 🤔 #talltok #6”7 #fyp #viral #letmeknow ♬ Can U Handle It? – Usher
But he would not let losing the popular page and his followers keep him down. He started new accounts, including one on TikTok, and got back to work creating viral content. Within a few months, he went viral yet again in a dancing clip that was shared by the blog The Shade Room. In no time, he was back to “doing numbers,” racking up views and likes, and receiving all the praise an internet star could dream of.
So when the thirst trap video hit over a million views and the hate rolled in, it came as quite a shock to Fogg.
“This is the first time I’ve gotten backlash,” he explained.
Though the comments section quickly soured, even more hate poured in after an “X” user shared the clip with her followers along with a simple directive: “Please go read the comments on this video they are dragging him.” The post received nearly 13 million views. Fogg believes that clout chasers figured out there was fame to be had from hating on him, so they kept the ball rolling.
“They were like, ‘Oh, her numbers blew up, let me do it too,'” he said. “People want to jump on [the] bandwagon; people want to talk on trends.”
The TikToker is certainly a man who understands clout chasing, and he is not ashamed of that fact. Ultimately, he views the negative feedback as a positive because it is helping him get more eyes on his content.
“Whether you like it or not, I’m blowing up; you running me up,” he said. “You may be eating me up, but you blowing me up at the same time.”
Fogg believes higher numbers can be translated into real-world opportunities. He said his viral fame has already landed him modeling opportunities with Nike and an opportunity to star in a movie (though the Daily Dot could not confirm these claims.)
“I view TikTok as a huge stepping stone, a milestone,” he explained. “Without TikTok, I would not have gotten a lot of different opportunities that I’ve gotten.”
And the new opportunities have already begun to pour in in the wake of this new viral video.
“Shade Room just hit me up again and asked if they could repost that video,” he said. “So I’m finna be on Shade Room again.”