Child abuse for fun and profit

A Maryland couple is being investigated for the contents of their YouTube channel, which featured high-larious “pranks” at the expense of their young children:

…Mike Martin, the father who operates under the channel “DaddyOFive,” responded Wednesday morning in a video with his wife, Heather, titled “Family Destroyed Over False Aquisations,” [sic] in which he claimed that many of the pranks are scripted and his children’s ideas.

“The videos are fake. They’re fake. They’re over exaggerated. Some videos are scripted. They’re played out. The kids’ ideas, we act them out … We just wanted to make videos for you guys,” said Martin, who lists a Damascus P.O. Box address in his YouTube descriptions.

As of Thursday afternoon, all of Martin’s videos except the explanation video had been deleted.

[…]

The viral outrage began after the parents posted a video titled “Invisible Ink Prank,” in which Heather spilled invisible ink on the carpet. She and her husband profusely blamed the sons, screaming profanities, as the boys dissolved into tears and swore over and over that they didn’t do it. The parents begin laughing before Martin tells them, “It’s just a prank, bruh.”

I hadn’t heard of “DaddyOFive”, his channel nor his 200+ videos before today, and I was so much happier then.  Another YouTuber put together this compilation, and I dare anyone to finish it without wanting to hug their own kids.  Or run mommy and daddy through a wood chipper.

Either the kids in these “scripted” videos are the best child actors since Anna Paquin in The Piano, or their lives are being destroyed by their own parents.  As a parent I know what it looks like when kids are upset, and I say there’s absolutely no way these kids (especially the youngest, who appears to take most of the abuse) are faking it.

Even the “taken out of context” card can’t really be played here, because some of these videos clearly show the children being physically hit.

Online witch-hunts flare up every few weeks, whether it’s against someone making a joke about AIDS before flying to Africa or shooting a lion on safari.  Usually, I try to say we should wait for all the facts and resist the anger of the mob.

I still feel that way about “DaddyOFive.”  Maybe there’s more than we’re being told, the kids are safe, and this is all a great misunderstanding.

But this time, it sure looks like there really is a witch.

(via Jim Treacher)

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