YouTube’s New Firearms Policies

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.

2 thoughts on “YouTube’s New Firearms Policies

  1. I don’t think YouTube offers any real solution to the problem by implementing this new policy, just how protesting someone not to speak isn’t going to make them disappear. YouTube is notorious for their terrible communication with their community and this is just another example of that. I would like to see evidence that people sell illegal firearms over YouTube and how this banning of channels talking and teaching about firearms will help the problem across America right now. I think this just adds fuel to fire, not extinguishes it. Thank you for the thought-provoking article Daniel.

  2. Youtube is an absolute garbage fire right now, I agree, Dan. There is so much wrong with the site, and it doesn’t stop at their treatment towards gun channels. However, one interesting thing I read in the news the other day was that many gun channels actually moved to posting to more “adult-oriented” video sites in light of YouTube’s new gun policies. Really, I think that all it’s going to take is for some random programmer to make a new video sharing platform that is more user friendly, and everyone will flock to it. YouTubers are desperate, YouTube is not taking any criticisms seriously and they can, because they have no competition.

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