Ugh, these people again?! Do you guys remember the vloggers DaddyOFive? Michael and Heather Martin ran the popular YouTube channel of the same name. They made a name for themselves as prankers, and uploaded several videos that crossed a serious line. In the videos, the adults filmed themselves pranking their own children, for clicks and laughs and yes, revenue. The children were 11 and 9 at the time, and some of the videos are incredibly hard to watch. The pranks were serious enough that authorities got involved, and the children's biological mother sued for and was awarded custody. Heather and Michael were convicted of child neglect in September 2017, and the couple deleted the account. But apparently they couldn't stay away for long, and created a new account called FamilyOFive where they were pulling the same pranks. Thankfully, YouTube was having none of their nonsense this time around!
Michael and Heather Martin moved from Maryland to West Virginia following their convictions, and started two new channels: the FamilyOFive channel, and an affiliated gaming channel called FamilyOFive Gaming. Disturbingly, the prank channel had alreay racked up 176 million views. Another vlogger, Amanda the Jedi, uploaded a video exposing the terrible couple and the content they've been posting.
The children at the center of the first pranking controversy now live with their mother. These new videos exploit the couple's three biological children. The goal still appears to be to inflict the maximum amount of embarrassment at their kids' expense. For example, in one video, they read text messages one son wrote to his girlfriend.
The children involved in these videos say the pranks are staged, and that they are willing participants. But regardless, YouTube moved in very quickly and put an end to it. The video platform shut down and banned FamilyOFive, as well as the affiliated gaming channel.
Plenty of people have turned their little YouTube channels into hugely successful businesses. But there's absolutely no reason parents should be allowed to profit off the exploitation and pain of their own kids. We're so glad the Martins are gone again, but we're sure they'll be back, in some form or another.