As anyone who’s posted a YouTube video, uploaded a story to a news site or written something for an online newspaper will tell you, you NEVER ever read the comments.
YouTube viewers are similar to Reddit visitors, their comments often offend, criticize, undermine, torment, persecute and torture the person they disagree with. It’s unrelenting sometimes. This time, comments from some YouTube viewers rescued two children at the center of alleged abuse.
I’m talking about the YouTube channel ‘DaddyOFive’. Mike Martin is dad, his wife Heather is mom, and their 5 kids were the victims. If you haven’t witnessed their abusive pranks you’ve missed what I think is the most awful picture of parenting the web has ever seen.
Now, everyone loves pranks and I’ve pranked my kids many times but these are not the Jimmy Kimmel, ‘your parents ate your halloween candy’, the pranks played by these parents put their kids health (physical and mental) at risk.
The DaddyOFive YouTube channel has been wiped clean of the prank videos but you can find them elsewhere on the internet. It is the internet after all.
The youngest child, Cody, seems to bear the brunt of the so-called pranks. For instance, in one video dad shoves him into a bookshelf and appears to bloody his nose. In another they tell Cody he’s been adopted and in another they pretend to smash his video game system. When he cries, (he’s 9) mom yells and screams as he buries his head under a pillow that he needs to learn how to take a joke. “YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE IN THIS FAMILY WHO ACTS LIKE A BUTTHOLE!”
To make matters worse (um…maybe ‘worser’), these two parents have been getting a check every month from YouTube advertisers for exploiting their kids.
YouTube viewers hit the comment button so many times leaving so many messages criticizing the parents that they responded by taking down the videos and creating a ‘sorry, not sorry’ video where the children explain that it was all a joke and that no one was ever hurt. Seeing little Cody trying to join the chorus of “it’s not us it’s you” was difficult to believe. Mom said little Cody was going to grow up to be an actor. Listen, if this boy is acting in the videos he’s the best child actor I’ve ever seen.
Now, to the point of this post: YouTube viewers called them out and commented so often, and many times, created their own videos to bring attention to the videos. Yesterday, Child Protective Services granted the biological mother of two of the children (Cody and Emma) emergency custody.
Not to be lost in this story is the reaction of YouTube viewers who came to the children’s rescue. If the videos hadn’t gotten so many views (some with over 5 million) and YouTube viewers hadn’t called them out on it, these kids may still be getting slapped by each other and being tormented by their parents.
Sure, there are many of the almost million subscribers who apparently crave a real-life Hunger Games, but it is the good YouTube viewers who were willing to call a foul a foul and do something other than watch and shake their heads.