YouTube has closed the channel owned by a couple already convicted for publising humiliating videos of their children. Custody of two of the children has already been revoked.
The USA, and all the way to France, people had been shocked by this story. Mika and Heather Martin had a YouTube channel: FatherOFive. They would post videos of their children, especially humorous one or pranks, playing on the children’s gullibility. At his highest, the channel had reached 750,000 followers.
Humiliation and physical violence towards kids
As a symptom of excessive staging of children on YouTube, the couple ended up publishing abusing videos. The parents were wrongfully accusing one of their adoptive son, Cody, of spilling ink on the carpet. Both parents were yelling at him and humiliating him. The boy was swearing, in tears, that he hadn’t done it while another crying brother was looking on.
But other contents were just as shocking. The kids were encouraged to fight. The parent told them, live, they were adopted. In one video, the father was seen hitting the arm of one of the sons or pushing him against a shelf.
The scandal quickly took to the web and social services took action. In April 2017, they removed custody of two of the children: Cody and his sister Emma, returned to their biological mother. The conviction included five-year probation. Heather Martin had then declared publicly she regretted making the videos and understood the reactions against her. She believed she « had taken bad decisions as a mother ».
After losing custody of two children out of the five, the couple relapses
Apparently, the lesson didn’t stick. The parents, at first, published pranks not involving their kids but they relapsed. They created a channel called FamilyOFive with questionnable jokes involving the three remaining children. The channel reached 280,000 followers.
After numerous reportings, YouTube closed all of the channels belonging to the parents, on July 18th. « Content that endangers children is unacceptable to us.[…] Given this channel owner’s previous strikes for violating our Guidelines prohibiting child endangerment, we’re removing all of his channels under our Terms of Service.” explained YouTube in a press release.