Child Abuse On YouTube? – OPINION
A YouTube channel by the name “DaddyOFive” has been getting a lot of heat lately over videos uploaded to the channel that show parents pulling what are, in my opinion, abusive “pranks” on their kids - all for the sake of some internet fame and advertising dollars.
If you haven't heard about the YouTube channel, Philip DeFranco does a great job of laying out everything that's wrong with it. Check it out:
I’m not going to link to DaddyOFive’s channel, because giving this guy views is exactly what he wants, but you can find it pretty easily by searching YouTube. I wouldn’t recommend it, though.
Now, some people will say this is just stirring up standard internet outrage over something none of us can do anything about, but they're wrong. Raising awareness about parents who do this sort of thing to their children is important, because "DaddyOFive" is not the only guy seeking fame and fortune off the backs of his kids.
The rise of "personal broadcasting" on the internet has made a lot of people a lot of money, and everyone is looking for their way into the limelight, which means a lot of people are desperate for the attention and money it brings. Which means a lot of people will do anything to get it, even if that means abusing their kids.
So, yeah. We might not be able to do anything about "DaddyOFive" other than not watch his videos, but for a guy who depends on people continuing to watch his videos, that's not nothing. And raising awareness about this type of exploitive parental behavior can go a long way toward discouraging other parents from trying it in the future, which is also no small thing.
Don’t get me wrong, though. YouTube is a phenomenon that isn’t going away anytime soon, and kids today are growing up with it. My stepson watches a few kid-friendly YouTube channels (mostly involving Minecraft and life hacks), and it’s something he’s super interested in and wants to be a part of. To that end, he's made a short series of video game and book reviews in the past, and enjoyed it immensely. Earlier this year, when he heard about Kellyanne Conway’s “Alternative Facts” quote, he thought it was funny and asked if we could make a video joking about it. He came up with a bunch of ideas, acted them out, and told me how to edit them together. It was all him; I was just there to help him along the way.
We also went out to CyPhaCon in Lake Charles last year, where I followed behind him with a camera while he interviewed cosplayers, vendors, and celebrities. He loved it, and it was something he was excited to be a part of. Which is entirely different from what DaddyOFive and other people like him are doing.
If your kids are interested in video production and the internet, then by all means, encourage their interests in a safe and healthy way. Get involved and participate with them. Help them create a few videos. Support their efforts. That’s what being a parent is all about.
However, pulling vicious “pranks” on your kids because you think it’s funny and will get your videos a lot of views is exactly the opposite of what it means to be a good parent. Don’t exploit your kids. Don’t ridicule them online, and don’t abuse them in your home. Don’t do anything that “DaddyOFive” is doing to his poor children, especially the one child who seems to be the butt of every “prank” his parents pull.
At best, it’s bullying - which, when its coming from a child's parents, is even worse than when it comes from their peers. At worst, it’s child abuse, and its something that will haunt its victims for the rest of their lives. Sure, this guy’s channel might have started out with innocent intentions, but it’s obviously turned into something horrible that is hurting his kids.
Spread the word. This is not okay.