Lame. The family never should have publicized the act of punishing their children, they were asking for negative attention in a big way.
I remember having my mouth washed out with soap, getting spanked and occasionally belted (I would have gladly chosen to eat hot sauce), sent to bed with no dinner and being grounded with no tv, radio, phone privilege or use of the backyard pool.
In fact, I would have chosen hot sauce and a cold shower over almost all of the punishments I received.
My punishments are common and generally accepted forms of correction but they could all be twisted in to abuse.
I could have choked on soap.
Spanking is controversial and the alleged abusive aspect of it is obvious.
No dinner could turn in to a media field day of starvation and neglect
Being grounded could be considered extreme isolation....
It's all so subjective.
I love my parents, they raised me to be a productive, active member of society and I wasn't an easy kid. Their intent was always love, they always explained the why behind the what and hoped lessons stuck. It sounds like this was the case for the linked family. It's not like they were just being sadistic assholes deriving pleasure from the kids pain.
This is a bullshit conviction.