By: Robert Davis
YouTube has updated its content policies to ban videos that promote the use of certain firearms and gun accessories.
“We routinely make updates and adjustments to our enforcement guidelines across all of our policies. While we’ve long prohibited the sale of firearms, we recently notified creators of updates we will be making around content promoting the sale or manufacture of firearms and their accessories, specifically, items like ammunition, Gatling triggers, and drop-in auto sears,” YouTube wrote in an email sent to Gunpowder Magazine.
Many accessories were included in the new policy update, which bans videos promoting bump stocks, high-capacity magazines, and belts carrying more than 30 rounds. Other prohibitions include content that provides instructions on manufacturing a firearm, ammunition, high-capacity magazines, and homemade silencers or suppressors, and content that shows users how to install the aforementioned accessories or modifications.
Searching YouTube for keywords like “marijuana” or “bong” returns just over 2.9 million hits respectively. “Full-auto weapons” returns nearly 2.2 million hits.
YouTube will begin enforcing the new policies next month. There will be no changes to the monetization policies for channels that feature these types of content, though in a Help Forum article, YouTube recommends to users “reviewing the new policies in detail and making any updates before [they’re implemented.]”
Two prominent YouTube firearms channels, InRange TV and RECOIL, made their displeasure known on social media after the new policies became public. InRange TV posted their response to a Bloomberg request for an interview about the policies on their Facebook page.
“YouTube’s actions against firearms-related, as well as some other content … has been increasingly arbitrary and capricious, so there is little reason to believe that this new policy is not going to be used to hammer content creators into whatever corner they see fit,” they wrote.
“Over the last year or so we’ve seen our content be de-prioritized, flagged erroneously, demonetized by AI bots with little recourse, subscribers lose their notifications and subscription status without warning, and more.”
In response to the policy update, many gun-enthusiast bloggers have turned to alternative platforms such as Full30 and BitChute. At least one YouTuber said he would begin posting his videos on a pornography website, where content restrictions are negligible.
Robert Davis is a journalist from Colorado. He covers defensive gun use and Second Amendment litigation for Gunpowder Magazine. Contact him at RobertDavis0414@gmail.com.
Photo Credit: Thadeus Krehbiel