YouTube pranksters lose custody of children after outraged backlash over pranks

Tomas Mccoy
May 4, 2017

The saga of the Martin family and, eventually, Hall's attempts to regain custody of her two children, became a matter of collective viral justice a couple of weeks ago, after YouTuber Philip DeFranco posted a video about the content that was featured on DaddyOFive's channel.

Two children who were victims of YouTube pranks which some claimed was abuse have been taken away from their father and stepmother.

They apologised last month for making "some awful parenting decisions". "I acknowledge and I respect how everyone feels about this, and I do agree that we put things on the internet that should not be there". They're the most important thing in the world to us. They said that they thought the money was helping their family, and now they're all seeing a counselor.

The channel, which had more than 760,000 subscribers, had been the subject of criticism after many pointed out that the pranks pulled on their children were cruel and damaging.

Watch the family's apology video below...

In the apology the couple said it has been the worst week of their lives.

Hall thanked those who tried to help have the children removed and said it was heartbreaking to see the videos.


Ms Hall said daughter Emma was doing well, but Cody "has a long road to recovery". They reportedly made up to $350,000 per year from their YouTube channel, according to New York Magazine.

While the pair's verbal description of Emma in the video appeared to show that she, in particular, is adjusting easily to the change, Conlon said Hall was initially anxious about Cody's reaction to the retrieval.

"It was just a flat-out horrendous thing to do to children", wrote a columnist for PhillyVoice, condemning the video.

Some of the pranks included making Cody believe he'd been adopted out of their family and destroying the boy's Xbox with a hammer. You know, it was more for shock value.

He pleaded with his parents, saying: "I didn't do that, I don't have anything with or whatever this is", who responded by saying they would sell all of his toys which caused the poor little boy to burst into tears.

"We were being investigated already for the YouTube channel and nothing was found", his wife revealed in the same video. In that video, which has been viewed at least 2.2 million times since being posted on April 22, they say they're attending family counseling.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER