YouTube started out awesome. You could post videos of anything you wanted, pretty much. Then, over time, they realized that if they paid content creators, those creators could churn out better content. It was pretty cool. People could make a living entertaining folks or teaching them cool stuff.
However, YouTube soon started to turn left politically. They started demonetizing content they disagreed with while turning a blind eye to content they did. This forced content creators–people who often made their living off of YouTube money–to find alternative avenues for revenue.
Gun channels ran into this occasionally, as well, among other things. YouTube, despite being a great place to find gun content, began to crack down on gun channels.
Now, they’re at it again, except now they’ve ramped it up to 11.
Policies on content featuring firearms
YouTube prohibits certain kinds of content featuring firearms. Specifically, we don’t allow content that:
- Intends to sell firearms or certain firearms accessories through direct sales (e.g., private sales by individuals) or links to sites that sell these items. These accessories include but may not be limited to accessories that enable a firearm to simulate automatic fire or convert a firearm to automatic fire (e.g., bump stocks, gatling triggers, drop-in auto sears, conversion kits), and high capacity magazines (i.e., magazines or belts carrying more than 30 rounds).
- Provides instructions on manufacturing a firearm, ammunition, high capacity magazine, homemade silencers/suppressors, or certain firearms accessories such as those listed above. This also includes instructions on how to convert a firearm to automatic or simulated automatic firing capabilities.
- Shows users how to install the above-mentioned accessories or modifications.
Over at Recoil, they had the following to say about the new rules at YouTube:
If you skim through the policy, it appears YouTube is attempting to limit knowledge-sharing of what they think has caused several recent tragedies. One very important portion of verbiage states, “…links to sites that sell these items.” This means if a gun channel links to any company that sells firearms, that channel can be found in violation of the new YouTube firearms policy.
RECOIL has taken a step in the other direction by housing video content on its own platform. To check out uninhibited gun-friendly content, head over to RECOILtv.
Unfortunately, that only helps out Recoil. It does nothing for the masses of informational channels out there on similar topics.
Now, let’s be clear. I have no issue with YouTube cracking down on channels that show people how to do things that may well be illegal under most circumstances. Things like suppressors and converting to full-auto are probably not going to be legal for most of us out there, and so I see their point.
But so-called high-capacity magazines and bump stocks are still legal in the vast majority of states. While the left may wish they aren’t, they are and I really don’t see that changing despite the anti-gunners best efforts.
When YouTube decided to lump those in as well, they made it very clear where YouTube and, by extension, Google, stands on the subject of guns. Not that there was any doubt, mind you. Google had previously made that pretty clear. Hilariously clear.
The thing is, the technology is out there now. While potential competitors to YouTube have had a rough row to hoe so far, it’s only a matter of time before YouTube finds itself on the outside looking in. Each move like this one will speed up that eventuality, so keep it up.
I can’t wait to see it happen.