YouTube shut down a popular channel, as the mother was charged with allegations of abusing her kids
- YouTube creator Machelle Hackney, of popular channel "Fantastic Adventures," has been arrested with allegations she beat and starved her children who starred in the videos
- Seven adopted kids told officers that they were punished if they didn't follow her direction or during filming for the YouTube channel, which has got subscribers more than 800,000
- After the arrest, the channel has been "demonetized," and terminated from Wednesday afternoon
On Wednesday YouTube has shut down a popular channel about a family's zany adventures after they came to know about the allegations that the woman making the videos was abusing her children by beating, starving them and restricting access to the bathroom when they didn't follow proper direction or forgot their lines during shooting for YouTube videos.
Earlier this month Machelle Hackney was arrested by Police in Arizona in connection with allegations of child abuse. Hackney runs the YouTube channel "Fantastic Adventures," which has subscribers more than 800,000 with videos featuring her seven adopted kids performing in sketches, embarking on superhero-themed adventures, and running around with nerf guns. YouTube metrics, estimates that the channel could earn anywhere from $8,900 to $142,400 every month.
After the police in Maricopa, Arizona performed a wellness check on the family at their place. Police say that the image presented online is nowhere near what real life was like in the background when the camera was in rest.
On Wednesday afternoon YouTube terminated the account for "violating YouTube's Community Guidelines." All other details of the channel and its videos have been deleted from the video-sharing platform.
According to the Washington Post, while the police performed the welfare check, officers found children who "appeared to be malnourished, due to their pale complexion, dark rings under their eyes, underweight, and they stated they were thirsty and hungry."
As per Post reports, one of the children informed police that they hadn't attended school "in years," and instead spent his time "in the green screen room" where YouTube videos were filmed.
Buzzfeed News reports, some of the kid's detailed instances of abuse to the police. One kid said Hackney had pepper-sprayed her vagina, and another said she "would pinch the tip of his penis with her nails until it bled."
In a statement, YouTube said, "We take safety on YouTube very seriously, we work closely with leading child safety organizations and others in our industry to protect young people. When we're made aware of serious allegations of this nature we take action."
Initially, YouTube had demonetized the channel when it got aware of the arrest. YouTube marked the "Fantastic Adventures" videos as not "advertiser-friendly," so the channel was unable to make revenue from ads that appear before or during YouTube videos.
NBC News reports that Hackney is held in jail without bond on seven counts of child abuse, five counts of unlawful imprisonment and two counts of child molestation. Reportedly her adult sons, Logan and Ryan Hackney, face charged for failing to report abuse.
According to NBC News, Hackney denies abusing her children and said the only type of punishment she has used is spanking and grounding them. After Hackney's arrest, all seven of the adopted children have been shifted from the home.
Last month, YouTube made an announcement that it would be turning off comments on videos featuring children and minors "that could be at risk of attracting predatory behaviour." YouTube has been facing criticism for its lack of action in keeping children on the platform safe.