YouTube Is Banning Gun Channels
San Bruno, CA – Video-sharing platform YouTube has announced that it will ban channels and videos that promote or link to websites that sell firearms and accessories beginning in April.
The company, which is owned by Google, said that videos that provide instructions for assembling firearms and ammunition will also be prohibited, according to YouTube’s updated policy.
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A YouTube spokeswoman told Bloomberg that the company regularly adjusts and updates its policy enforcement guidelines.
“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,” she said.
“The Liberal Left will slowly chip away at our freedoms and erode our rights, and the first step is to squelch our voice,” the outspoken company said in their post. “To say we’re f**king pissed is an understatement. However we are not backing down from these b***hes. SHALL NOT INFRINGE!”
A YouTube spokeswoman later claimed that the removal of Spike’s Tactical from the video platform was accidental, and that the company’s channel had since been reinstated, Bloomberg reported.
A second channel, InRangeTV, preemptively opted to move its content onto PornHub, an adult video website, the company said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
“YouTube’s newly released vague and one-sided firearms policy makes it abundantly clear that YouTube cannot be counted upon to be a safe harbor for a wide variety of views and subject matter,” InRangeTV wrote. “InRangeTV is pleased to announce its expansion onto the PornHub network...[and] is excited to be joining a group of content creators who are truly open and non-judgmental when it comes to potentially controversial content.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, a lobbying group for the firearms industry, said that YouTube has become a “virtual public square,” and that enactment of the policy was a “stifling of commercial free speech.”
“We see the real potential for the blocking of educational content that serves instructional, skill-building and even safety purposes,” the foundation said, according to Bloomberg. “We suspect it will be interpreted to block much more content than the stated goal of firearms and certain accessory sales.”
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