U.S. NEWS
07/19/2018 12:49 pm ET

'FamilyOFive' YouTube Channel Removed Following Child Safety Concerns

Michael and Heather Martin's previous YouTube channel, DaddyOFive, led to child neglect convictions last year.

YouTube has removed a new series of videos posted by a couple convicted of child neglect after profiting from previous videos that showed them pranking their kids, sometimes to the point of tears.

“FamilyOFive,” a spinoff of the defunct YouTube channel “DaddyOFive” created by Michael and Heather Martin, was taken down on Wednesday after it was found to violate YouTube’s conditions, the website said.

“Content that endangers children is unacceptable to us. We have worked extensively alongside experts in child safety to make sure we have strict policies and are aggressively enforcing them,” said a spokesperson for Google, which owns YouTube. “Given this channel owner’s previous strikes for violating our Guidelines prohibiting child endangerment, we’re removing all of his channels under our Terms of Service.”

The decision follows growing concerns on social media about the content of the new videos. A since-removed promo for the “FamilyOFive” series showed one of the Martins’ sons getting hit in the groin with a ball and another boy crying and screaming for the camera to be turned off.

Michael and Heather Martin released an apology video last year after facing child abuse allegations.
YouTube
Michael and Heather Martin released an apology video last year after facing child abuse allegations.

The Martins had two of their five children taken away from them in 2017 following concern about abuse depicted in their past videos. The latest videos showed the couple with their remaining three sons, who are from Heather Martin’s previous marriage. She also had a channel called “MommyOFive.”

According to Washington-based TV station WUSA, which was the first to report on the videos’ removal, the Martins moved from Maryland to West Virginia after their convictions last year.

In a statement to the news site, the Martins appeared to defend their behavior and said they will continue to make videos as a family.

“Our family has worked very hard to heal and re-establish ourselves over the past 18 months. Through a lot of hard work and introspection, we are all doing well, and are happy,” the statement read. “YouTube is something we enjoy as a family, and we will continue to do it, within the strict boundaries we have set for ourselves.”

The family declined further comment, citing “our privacy and continued healing.”

The Martins entered Alford pleas last year to two counts of child neglect, which means they maintained their innocence but conceded that prosecutors had enough evidence to result in a guilty verdict.

Both were placed on five years of supervised probation after a judge initially sentenced them to 10 years each in prison but then suspended the jail time. Under a plea agreement, they were not allowed to contact their youngest two children, who Michael Martin fathered with another woman, unless they obtain a judge’s approval. They were also restricted from posting any videos or images of their children on social media unless it was for family use, Fox 5 DC reported.

The Martins on Thursday did not immediately respond to a HuffPost request for comment. An attorney previously listed as representing the family declined to comment.

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