YouTube channels that have dedicated their videos to firearms-based content might have to be extra careful as of recently. YouTube is introducing and enforcing their new guidelines on a very specific and controversial niche.
YouTube is putting restrictions on the kind of content you can put on their site when it deals with anything related to do with firearms.
YouTube’s content rules state “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.”
Some of the larger firearms channels, such as DemolitionRanch, have expressed concerns that because they have sponsors from firearms manufacturers, they are worried that they won’t be able to link their websites in their video descriptions. This would count as providing “links to sites that sell these items,” and would violate the terms that have been put in place. DemolitionRanch has already told the public that he has had some of his most popular videos, “Custom Homemade Shotgun Shells” removed entirely from the site, because the content counted as matrial that “Provides instructions on manufacturing a firearm, ammunition…”
Because of this new policy, the fear of having your channel outright deleted has become a very real one. And the problem is that if you try to claim that you are having your right to free speech suppressed, than YouTube can respond with the fact that they are a private company, and reserve the right to delete or demonetize any content that they see as unfit.
The issue is that many of these firearms channels do not simply make their content for the “fun of it.” Many of the content creators have turned their passion for guns into their careers, and some make their living and support their families off of their channels. A deletion would mean putting these people out of work, and that is something that I believe needs to change in the future. These people should not have to worry about losing their main source of income because of new policies, and I feel like the community needs to really come together to find a new solution to restricting firearms content.