Thursday, March 22, 2018

YouTube Gun Policies

youtube gun policy second amendment shutting down free speech demonitized

In the wake of another unfortunate event, YouTube takes to the side it normally does and continues to crack down on firearm content on YouTube. Just yesterday (3-21-18), YouTube stated that come mid April, new policies regarding firearm and firearm related content will be flagged. To cut right to it, here are the new polices: 

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. 

First off, let me just cut to the part that I really don’t understand. In most cases, anyone showing you how to convert a semi-auto weapon to full-auto, or dropping in auto sears, is generally doing something illegal anyway! Also, what I find funny, is that YouTube says that high capacity magazines are anything over 30 rounds. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE in the media says 30 rounds is high capacity. YouTube says it’s over 30. That’s interesting.

What will potentially affect me the most is the part about the links. I have had quite a few companies assist me with making some of my videos. It could be anything from reviewing a product, using their range, and so on. What I do to say thanks is put a link to that product or their store in the description. 

There was that one time I reviewed that compensated 1911 Roto barrel. I linked to that in the description. What if that website sells 32 round magazines. Is my video to be removed? Well, I have entered self-censorship. Any video of mine that had a link, I removed and replaced with: 

“Due to YouTube's updated firearm's policy, I can no longer link to this company's website. A Google search will lead you to them.” 
youtube gun policy second amendment shutting down free speech demonitized

Out of fear of my videos, I censored myself before YouTube did. However, these videos of mine are generally demonotized by YouTube already. Many YouTubers who feature firearm related content have received channel strikes, or even had their videos deleted. I have been hit with the “Limited or No Ads” feature.  
Basically, an algorithm scans the video meta data, title, description, and tags to determine what the video is, and if it’s “suitable” or not. If it’s deemed “unsuitable”, there will be limited or no ads in front of the video. You can request a manual review, but they are only able to do about 1000 videos per seven days. I’ve had reviews requested for about a year now. The flags are not even accurate. 

I did a series a while back called “Craigslist Car Crap” where I picked a random city and put in a very low amount of money to see what cars I could find. The descriptions were generally hysterical. One ad described that the car might have had a cracked head, but they wrote “crack head”. So I put that in the title of the video, and it was flagged. 

youtube gun policy second amendment shutting down free speech demonitized

YouTube is a private company, and it can legally do what it wants, but things like this are getting to be a bit much. I worry about the future of my channel, and for many of the other channels that I watch. I have my fingers crossed that I’ve taken the correct steps to make sure my channel is unaffected, but time will tell. Wish us all luck. 

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