YouTube has terminated Fantastic Adventures — a channel belonging to an Arizona woman who was arrested last week on seven counts of child abuse, five counts of unlawful imprisonment, five counts of child neglect, and two counts of child molestation.
The woman, Machelle Hackney, also allegedly forced her seven adopted children to appear in YouTube videos for the Fantastic Adventures channel, for which they were pulled from school and punished if they failed to participate. Hackney also stands accused of pepper-spraying the children, touching them inappropriately, forcing them to take ice baths, and locking them in a closet for days without food, water, or anywhere to go to the bathroom.
The channel, which hosted kid-aimed sketches with toys, nerf battles, and food fights, counted 800,000 subscribers and 250 million lifetime views — and was still live on the platform yesterday. Now, however, it appears to have been deleted.
YouTube previously said that it had demonetized Fantastic Adventures, and that the channel would be terminated if Hackney were to be convicted or plead guilty to the numerous charges she’s facing. However, the company subsequently had a change of heart — saying that Fantastic Adventures was terminated for repeatedly violating its Community Guidelines.
“We work closely with leading child safety organizations and others in our industry to protect young people,” a YouTube spokesperson told Tubefilter in a statement. “When we’re made aware of serious allegations of this nature we investigate and take action, We immediately suspended monetization when notified of the arrest. In cases where there are Community Guidelines violations, we may take additional actions, including terminating the channel.”
It’s unclear what the violations were, however, or whether they were related to Hackney’s arrest.
YouTube made a roughly similar aboutface in its decision to terminate the channel of convicted sex offender Austin Jones, who pleaded guilty in February to coercing six underage fans to send him sexually explicit photos. While Jones was convicted, YouTube initially opted not to delete his channel because his crimes did not occur on the platform. Shortly thereafter, however, YouTube reversed course and terminated the channel.
YouTube also terminated a group of channels under the SevenAwesomeKids banner earlier this month after owner Ian Rylett pleaded guilty to abusing one of the channels’ stars. Rylett was first arrested last August.