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YouTube videos lead one family to child custody woes

Many Maryland residents have firmly entrenched opinions about the online video sharing platform YouTube. While some find informative and educational content on the site, others feel that it offers little more than an opportunity to waste precious moments throughout any given day. For one family, YouTube has led to a serious child custody issue, one that could have long-ranging ramifications.

The matter centers on the family's monetized YouTube channel known as DaddyOFive. On the channel, a married couple presents numerous videos in which they play various "pranks" on their five children. They earn money from the site based on ads placed near the videos. In some clips, the pranks seem minor in nature, while other videos contain disturbing elements.

Outrage over the videos prompted YouTube users to demand that Child Protective Services investigate the family. In many videos, a young boy is repeatedly brought to tears as his parents scream profanity and false allegations at him. The couple has claimed that the children enjoy making the videos, and that much of the content is staged. Child Protective Services, on the other hand, seemed to take a different view on the matter.

All five children have been removed from the home, and two have been placed in the care of their biological mother. The couple will now have to go to court to argue for the return of their children. They have issued a public statement apologizing for their actions and admitting that they made poor parenting choices. However, it will be up to the child custody court to determine if they are fit and proper parents who should have responsibility for five young lives. For Maryland residents who habitually share online video featuring their children, this case should serve as a cautionary tale.

Source: kwbe.com, "Mom who won temporary custody of her 2 kids after YouTube stars' "prank" videos says they were abused", May 5, 2017

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