Ask most Florida residents what they think of YouTube, and you are likely to get very distinct responses. People seem to either love or hate the video platform, but there is little question that YouTube is here for the long haul. In fact, there are people who are making a very respectable living on the site, even if the content that they are creating is not quite so respectable. An example is found in the case of a couple who have lost their child custody rights after posting controversial YouTube videos.
The couple have made a considerable amount of money through their YouTube videos, many of which are laced with profanity and often feature their children. Perhaps the most controversial content on their YouTube channel, which is known as "DaddyOFive," is footage in which they play seemingly cruel pranks on their five kids. One of those pranks involved convincing a young boy that he was going to be put up for adoption. Others showed the couple encouraging the kids to beat each other up.
The couple are the biological father of the children and his wife, the children's stepmother. Their biological mother pursued a change in custody after viewing the videos. She asserts that the footage shows the children being abused and is evidence that the father and stepmother are unfit parents to the children. A court agreed and has granted the mother emergency custody of the children.
As this matter moves forward, the courts will determine a permanent custody solution. It is reported that child protective services has become involved, which could have a great deal of impact on the outcome of the case. The father and stepmother have appeared on Good Morning America to defend the actions that led to their child custody loss, stating that they thought that they were doing good things for their family by earning money from the videos. The case serves as a warning to all Florida parents who might consider uploading controversial video footage of their kids to YouTube or any other online platform.
Source: USA TODAY, "YouTube stars lose custody of children after controversial 'prank' videos", Mary Bowerman, May 3, 2017