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For many, this will come as no surprise. YouTube has finally jumped into the gun control argument with both feet and will actively ban videos they deem inappropriate in light of recent examples of gun violence. Liberty Nation’s Scott Cosenza wrote about the video platform’s demonetization of conservative and gun related videos last year, but this new outright ban brings YouTube’s gun control censorship to a whole new level.
Owned by Google, YouTube is a left leaning company with a history of penalizing conservative content creators. Therefore, this could very well be just the implementation of what they have planned all along. On the other hand, it’s entirely possible that, like so many other companies, they’ve caved under the pressure of whining anti-gun activists. Certainly, YouTube has had its share of condemnation for providing the NRA with a platform for its videos.
YT Elizabeth posted the policy update on the YouTube help forum March 19:
We’re updating our policies around content featuring firearms as part of the regular changes we make to our policies on an ongoing basis. The updated policies are available in our Help Center today, but the new guidelines won’t go into effect until a month from now. If your channel has firearms-related content, we recommend reviewing the new policies in detail and making any updates before then. There are no changes to our monetization policies for this content.
Any videos made to sell firearms or certain accessories, or those that link directly to sites that sale them, will not be allowed. Included accessories listed are bump stocks, gatling triggers, drop-in auto sears, conversion kits, and other items made to simulate or convert to automatic fire, and, of course, the left’s favorite patsy, the high capacity magazine. They also won’t allow any videos that provide instructions on manufacturing guns, ammunition, or homemade suppressors and any video that demonstrates the use of any of the above.
This update allegedly isn’t enforceable until April, but at least two regular content providers have already felt the sting. Spike Tactical, a firearms company, posted on Facebook that their YouTube account was suspended due to “repeated or severe violations.” The company took to Facebook and Instagram to lambast YouTube: “Well, since we’ve melted some snowflakes on @youtube and got banned, might as well set IG and FB on fire! Make America F’n Awesome!”
InRange TV made the call to abandon YouTube entirely in favor of a porn video platform, posting this on their Facebook page:
“YouTube’s newly released vague and one-sided firearms policy makes it abundantly clear that YouTube cannot be counted upon to be a safe harbor for a wide variety of views and subject matter. PornHub has a history of being a proactive voice in the online community, as well as operating a resilient and robust video streaming platform.”
The head honchos over at YouTube may not realize it, but this could be a dangerous move. As InRange TV very creatively demonstrated, there are other video platforms out there. It should come as no surprise that YouTube follows the leftist ideology of its parent company, Google, but it never ceases to be amazing just how much some companies are willing to sacrifice for political grandstanding. Earlier this month, Sarah Cowgill wrote about the severe backlash felt by several companies that let their anti-gun ideology get the better of them: “In America, the consumer is still king. And 14 million consumers are loyal to the NRA and their defense of the Second Amendment.”
The Washington Post opens their report of the update by claiming that a YouTube search for “how to build a gun” returns over 25 million results. That’s a lot of content creators – and even more viewers – who will be headed for the door in April. Apparently, that’s a hit they’re willing to take.