A parenting YouTuber was arrested for allegedly starving and physically abusing her children

Business Insider US
Ryan Hackney, Machelle Hackney's biological adult son, appears in the "Fantastic Adventures" videos. He allegedly failed to report the abuse.

  • Machelle Hackney runs a YouTube channel with 800,000 subscribers called "Fantastic Adventures" where her seven adopted children have adventures and play games.
  • She was arrested Friday for allegedly locking them in a closet for days without food, water, or bathroom access, and physically abusing them.
  • Her two biological adult sons were also arrested for failing to report the alleged abuse. Her biological adult daughter reported them to authorities.
  • YouTube terminated the channel's monetisation when it became aware of the arrest.

Machelle Hackney - a mother who runs the YouTube page "Fantastic Adventures," where she posts videos of her and her kids playing games - was arrested by US police Friday, according to the Washington Post.

Police told the Washington Post Hackney physically abused her seven adopted children. According to police, she kept them in a closet for days without access to food, water, or access to a bathroom, and at other points pepper-sprayed them and beat them with household objects.

Her YouTube channel, "Fantastic Adventures," has 800,000 subscribers. It features videos between 10 and 15 minutes long where the children play imaginative games - like battling against zombies or clones - with toys like Nerf guns and "Harry Potter" wands. Almost all of the videos have millions of views.

According to the report seen by the Associated Press., officers found six of her children to be malnourished and underweight, She's being held in jail on suspicion of child molestation, child abuse, and unlawful imprisonment and child neglect. Hackney's two biological adult sons, Logan and Ryan Hackney, were also arrested and face charges of not reporting abuse.

Logan Hackney was charged in the case as well.

Her biological daughter contacted authorities on March 13, which prompted child welfare authorities and police to act, according to court records reviewed by the Washington Post.

A representative for YouTube told INSIDER that, in similar situations, it terminates the channel entirely upon conviction. When it became aware of Hackney's arrest, YouTube demonetized the "Fantastic Adventures" channel.

"We take safety on YouTube very seriously," a company spokesperson said. "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, which may include suspending monetisation, or, upon conclusion of an investigation, terminating channels."

A representative for Hackney did not immediately respond to INSIDER's request for comment.

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