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YouTube family facing serious child custody issues

Love it or hate it, most Texas residents have had some exposure to YouTube, the online platform that allows users to upload and share video content. Users can create "channels" for uploaded video, and can even monetize those channels by allowing ads to be placed alongside uploaded content. As one family recently discovered, however, there is a limit to the type of content that can and should be shared with others. The couple behind the YouTube channel DaddyOFive is now facing a serious child custody battle based on videos of their family.

Members of the YouTube community became concerned after watching videos in which the couple's five children were repeatedly "pranked" in various ways. One of the younger children was regularly brought to tears on camera as one or both of his parents convinced him that he was in trouble over fabricated infractions. At one point, the child was convinced that he was going to be placed for adoption and would no longer be allowed to live with his family.

The videos are difficult to watch, and feature frequent profanity and questionable parenting choices. The children are encouraged to engage in physical fights with one another and are regularly screamed at by one or both parents. In many videos, two of the children seem extremely distraught. The couple, however, have claimed that much of the content was staged and that none of the children were abused.

Child protective services were contacted and eventually removed the children from their home. Two of the kids have been placed with their biological mother, and it is unclear where the other three children are currently being housed. As the couple struggles to regain their child custody rights in the matter, they may face an uphill battle. Child protective services and the court will have access to multiple videos that display questionable parenting tactics. For Texas residents who post online videos of a similar nature, this case should serve as a cautionary tale.

Source: USA TODAY, "YouTube stars lose custody of children after controversial 'prank' videos", Mary Bowerman, May 3, 2017

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