YouTube has updated it’s policies regarding videos featuring firearms, and it could result in a whole lot of gun-related content being removed from the site.
Here is how the YouTube policy on firearms content now reads:
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.
Ok, let break that down. Bullet point one seems to be directed at bump stocks, but the way this policy is written, any firearm accessory YouTube decides it doesn’t like, along with any video description that includes a link to a product page or any website that sells firearm accessories.
The second-bullet point could knock out most gunsmithing videos, accessory installation videos, field-stripping videos, and likely all videos on reloading ammunition. While manufacturing homemade suppressors and firearms is technically illegal without a license, as is converting a semi-auto firearm to full-auto, there is nothing illegal about making your own ammunition, or even a high-capacity magazine, if possible.
We don’t yet know what the impact on gun-related video content will be or how hard YouTube will enforce its purposely broad new rules, but gun communities on Reddit and other social media platforms have been buzzing with concern that any video featuring a magazine that looks like it holds more than 30 rounds or any kind of AR rifle or accessory will be taken down by the site.
On Feb. 26 we reported that popular YouTube personality 22plinkster pulled all his videos from YouTube after racking up two strikes from the site’s automated reporting system during the first wave of anti-gun hysteria following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
His videos have since returned to YouTube, but many gun-video content creators are fleeing to other online video platforms like Full30.com.