On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
Many Florida readers make frequent use of YouTube, an online platform that allows users to upload and share videos. In fact, some families have even created their own YouTube channel to share content with friends, family, and anyone else who happens to take interest in their videos. It is even possible to monetize one’s YouTube channel, by allowing ads to be placed next to the uploaded content. As one family recently discovered, however, YouTube can lead to serious family law problems.
The couple behind the YouTube channel DaddyOFive has lost custody of two of their five children after the online community became outraged by the content placed on the channel. The couple is a blended family, with three children belonging to the mother and two others belonging to the father. The main focus of their YouTube channel was a series of pranks played on the children, and the response that those actions would elicit from the kids.
Much of that content seemed far from lighthearted and led high-profile YouTube users to demand that child protective services take a closer look at the family’s actions. In particular, one of the younger children was regularly “pranked” on camera, often being brought to the point of tears in order to amuse viewers. Investigators looked into the matter, and all five children were removed from the home.
As this matter moves forward, the couple will likely try to regain custody of their children but may face an uphill battle. Footage that shows the unkind and potentially abusive treatment of the children was disseminated across the internet. That footage, which earned the family an undisclosed amount of money, now may form the center of the family law case that could ultimately lead to the permanent removal of the children from their care. Their story serves as a cautionary tale to Florida residents who post questionable video content on the internet.
USA Today, “YouTube stars lose custody of children after controversial ‘prank’ videos“, Mary Bowerman, May 3, 2017