Maryland parents Mike and Heather Martin, accused of uploading 'prank' videos to YouTube that depicted child abuse, have had their account permanently terminated by YouTube. The most recent video had been posted just four days ago.
Last fall, the parents were charged with child neglect and sentenced to five years probation for their viral videos featuring their children in emotional situations that was determined by the court to be abusive. They lost custody of two of their five children.
The family claimed that their children were acting in the videos, but received negative reactions from other members in the YouTube community since many of their videos featured shouting and physical violence. Many YouTube users claimed the parents were exploiting their children's reactions for monetary gain.
Recently, the family moved from Maryland to West Virginia and continued to operate the channel under the name "FamilyOFive", having changed it from the original "DaddyOFive" name. Before the allegations of abuse, their channel had more than 750,000 subscribers and more than 175 million combined views.
Content that endangers children is unacceptable to us. We have worked extensively alongside experts in child safety to make sure we have strict policies and are aggressively enforcing them. Given this channel owner’s previous strikes for violating our Guidelines prohibiting child endangerment, we’re removing all of his channels under our Terms of Service.