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What is the truth behind the camera and what does this mean for YouTube?

Social media has been blowing up over the tragic story about the YouTube family, the Frankes. Ruby Franke, mother of six chidren, was charged with six counts of felony child abuse. Ruby and her business partner, Jodi Hildebrant, were arrested last week and are now facing criminal charges.


This story all came to light when one of Ruby’s children, twelve year old Russell, climbed out of a window in Hilderbarnat’s home with tape wrapped around his wrists and rope lacerations on his skin. He went to the neighbors house begging for food and water. The neighbors quickly called the police and officials came to the scene. Franke’s ten year old daughter was also found in Hildebrandt’s home. Both children were extremely malnourished. Officials found the condition of the children so severe that they were transported to the nearest local hospital. Frankes other children were not found in the house, just the two youngest, it’s unknown where the other children were. 


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Hildebrant was also charged with six counts of felony and child abuse. Each count carries a prison sentence of up to fifteen years and a fine of up to $10,000 dollars. The county attorney also stated that, “There are two juvenile victims in these cases, and each defendant is accused of causing or permitting serious physical injury to the victims in three different ways: (1) a combination of multiple physical injuries or torture, (2) starvation or malnutrition that jeopardizes life, and (3) causing severe emotional harm,” 


Viewers on social media are taking things a step further by speaking out on controversial incidents in past Youtube videos. Viewers pointed out that the mother would take away “food privileges” from her children if they were acting up. She was also found putting adult responsibilities on her young kids. For example, forcing her then four year old to get up for school and pack a lunch by herself. In another video she took away her eldest son’s bedroom for eight months. The list only goes on, displaying her neglectful parenting and harmful actions. In many videos you can see the look of fear on the kid’s faces when their mother is angry, which can only lead us to imagine the punishments behind the camera. 


This all raises the question of what else these kids have been through. We can only imagine the abuse, neglect, and tears behind the smiles and laughs. With all of this coming to light, many are questioning how the face of YouTube will change. Will more protection be put in place for the children of YouTube families, or will YouTube family channels stop all together? Without knowing what goes on with the cameras off, people are beginning to question the authenticity of channels and the safety of children. 


As Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrant face their charges, the truth continues to leak out. We are left to wonder what will happen to the family and what this means for the future.


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