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)

One thought on “Child abuse for fun and profit

  1. M says:

    Quite some time ago now, my son who was then 9-10 years old showed me similar “prank” videos and sought my reassurance that they weren’t real. All I could tell him was that if it viscerally upsets him to watch it, he should listen to his instincts telling him that this is wrong – and besides, even if it were a pretense, who in their right mind would consider it remotely funny? He certainly didn’t.
    Also, every time one watches videos that are abusive or even ‘merely’ in very bad taste, one is feeding this sort of thing. More views likely mean that the video will be pushed to a wider audience.
    As viewers, we can exercise some control simply by taking away the audience in cases where reporting a video does not result in action. Maybe while we’re at it, we can encourage better content by watching something intelligent and educational, like Tom Scott or Crash Course in History. It’s a choice, like prioritising David Attenborough over Jerry Springer, which literally gave me headaches every time my husband at the time watched it. Violence feeds more violence.
    One part of the solution is to mindfully give attention to the good things we *want* to see more of.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s