BY LUKE WATHEN
There has been recent controversy over the YouTube channel “DaddyOFive” and its video content. The channel contains several videos of two parents loudly berating their children, physically attacking them and destroying their property all for what they deem to be “pranks.” This kind of behavior on and off the Internet is simply unacceptable.
Thankfully, many YouTubers have vocally criticized both the parents and the nature of the channel itself, among them “Philip DeFranco”, Ethan Klein of “h3h3Productions” and even Steve-O of “Jackass” fame. Their biggest concern with these videos is that they are nothing more than thinly veiled child abuse, with the parents using the children’s emotional and physical turmoil as a means of gaining publicity as well as monetary gain.
A petition has been circulating requesting the Child Protective Services investigate the household and the parents themselves have insisted that the videos themselves are nothing more than harmless fun, though their children’s’ reactions would say otherwise.
The channel has since gone into full defensive mode; the videos have all been removed and the only video that remains now is a half-hearted apology from the callous parents that operate the channel. In their “apology,” they are more interested in demonizing Philip DeFranco than offering remorse for what is obviously child abuse.
With that said, the saga of “DaddyOFive” raises an important point as to what has been passing as a “prank” on YouTube for far too long. When one hears the word prank, images of harmless gags such as whoopee cushions, joy buzzers and ink-filled gum usually come to mind.
However in modern parlance, pranking has come to define actions that are much more lazy and, frankly, more excessive. A YouTube that is labelled as a “prank video” contains what used to be considered assault and abuse.
These pranks can include things as juvenile as screaming in people’s faces as they walk innocently down the street, hurling racial slurs at minorities or simply running up to individuals and punching them for no apparent reason. Upon meeting with a (justifiably) violent reaction, the instigators immediately try to deescalate the situation by shouting the classic catchphrase “It’s just a prank, bro!”
Now that these pranks are being pulled on children for the sake of arbitrary internet attention, there is finally some backlash against the sorry state of what internet pranks have become. The couple that make up “DaddyOFive” will hopefully see some major consequences for their actions following what could best be described as a collective epiphany from web users.
When it comes to senseless abuse, be it verbal or physical, it is never “just a prank, bro,” it is a major offense that carries with it major penalties.
If you would like to sign the petition to have Child Protective Services investigate the makers of the channel “DaddyOFive,” you can do so here: https://www.change.org/p/get-child-protective-services-to-re-investigate-youtube-channel-daddyofive