Mean stream: when YouTube pranks go horribly wrong

A US couple have lost custody of their children after featuring them in allegedly abusive prank videos. They’re not the first to go too far in search of hits

Pranks have been a booming part of YouTube’s scene for years – but it’s a subculture prone to attracting controversy. The latest incident has led to a US father and a stepmother losing custody of two of their children as a result of some of their prank videos.

Mike Martin of Baltimore ran a channel named DaddyOFive, featuring his wife, Heather, and their five children. At the height of the controversy, but before his videos were made private, DaddyOFive had more than 750,000 subscribers and the clips were viewed more than 176m times.

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The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked

A shadowy global operation involving big data, billionaire friends of Trump and the disparate forces of the Leave campaign influenced the result of the EU referendum. As Britain heads to the polls again, is our electoral process still fit for purpose?

“The connectivity that is the heart of globalisation can be exploited by states with hostile intent to further their aims.[…] The risks at stake are profound and represent a fundamental threat to our sovereignty.”
Alex Younger, head of MI6, December, 2016

“It’s not MI6’s job to warn of internal threats. It was a very strange speech. Was it one branch of the intelligence services sending a shot across the bows of another? Or was it pointed at Theresa May’s government? Does she know something she’s not telling us?”
Senior intelligence analyst, April 2017

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