'DaddyOFive' YouTube parents have been charged with child neglect
Frequenters of the social media platform, YouTube may have noticed a worrying trend of late, wherein people exploit others in order to gain views and "subscribers".
With things such as "daily vlogs" gaining popularity, people have began to share unprecedented amounts of their lives with their fans, and this, as you can imagine, comes with its fair share of problems. One of the most popular YouTube families, DaddyOFive is the most recent example of going above and beyond what is acceptable to gain notoriety.
The YouTube family, who used to garner over 23 million views per month became embroiled in child abuse allegations after they posted a seven minute video which was quickly deleted after backlash started to grow. The video depicted the couple deliberately spilling ink on the carpet of their children's bedroom. They proceeded to blame the mess on their son, who began to cry and show distress before admitting that it was all an elaborate hoax.
Mike and Heather Martin actually lost custody of two of their five children following viewers' concerns. On the 1st May, a judge gave emergency custody of Cody and Emma to their biological mother, Rose Hall. And now, the couple has been charged with child neglect.
Mike and Heather Martin, who are based in Maryland have been charged with two counts of mistreating two of their children between November 2016 and April 2017. The charges were filed on the 27th July.
Following the allegations, the couple decided to remove every video from their YouTube channel, barring two. One of the videos was an apology wherein the couple explains that although they "just wanted [their] kids to be happy", they realise that they "went about it the wrong way". Heather continues:
"Before we knew it, we were caught-up in our family’s popularity which led to some poor decisions.
"Upon reflection, we realise there were mistakes made that caused our family some pain.’
"We offer our most humble and sincere apology to those we negatively impacted and offended, particularly our wonderful children. Our children are safe."
The video which has since gathered over five million views can be watched below:
Since issuing the apology video the family have gone on to release over forty other videos - none of which feature any of their children.
The couple's lawyer, Stephen Tully has stated that there is a plea agreement which will be heard on the 11th of September. However, he refused to hand out any more information, noting that a number of factors could change before the initial hearing in September.
In cases of child neglect that maximum sentence is five years in prison and a fine of $5,000.
In other viral news, Kim Kardashian has once again found herself in hot water after defending "racist" makeup artist Jeffree star. You can watch her emotional apology, here.