Stop pranking for profit
Social media allows for a wide range of entertainment with instant access at the push of a button. One specific niche online is “social media experiments” and pranks. Recently, a family vlog channel has been in the news accused of abusing children through the pranks on its channel.
The channel, Daddyofive, came under fire after its most recent upload in which the parents, Mike and Heather Martin, sprayed the floor of their son Cody’s room with invisible ink, and then proceeded to scream at him about the mess, insisting he had done it himself. The 6 minute, 30 second video continues to escalate with the child crying and swearing he hadn’t done it, while the parents scream and curse at him, threatening to sell his toys.
While this video is the one that brought forth attention to the channel, there are numerous other examples that demonstrate abusive tendencies, going so far as shoving one of the children into a bookshelf. The family has now uploaded a video refuting these accusations, saying that the pranks are all in good fun. One of the children spoke up saying “At least you don’t beat us”… What a high standard.
First and foremost, I’m not a person who enjoys pranks or practical jokes. I think, for the most part, they tend to victimize people, unless done in good taste. Furthermore, social pranks have gone so far as to “fake suicide” or other serious matters, which just seems a bit too much to me. However, these parents in particular seem to be exploiting their children and putting them under extreme emotional stress in order to make a profit. If that doesn’t constitute child abuse, I’m not sure what does. Out of all the children, one in particular tends to be the victim, Cody, who seems to be on the receiving end of most of the hurtful pranks and puts forth the most extreme reactions. This isolation furthers suspicion of abuse, as in child abuse cases with large families, one child tends to be secluded or the punching bag of the family. In a video posted Tuesday, they revealed that the entire family was going to Disney excluding Cody, due to his “misbehaviors.”
The children in this case are under so much mental duress that the parents and the community supporting such entertainment should be ashamed. These children are put into fake robbery scenarios, or other extreme situations that even an adult would suffer trauma from, let alone a child. And for what? For the ad revenue generated on a video.