According to TFB TV, YouTube is now classifying all gun-related content as “age restricted.” Producers of gun-related content can no longer monetize their video through YouTube’s ad generation engine. The system doesn’t appear to be automated — not all gun related videos have been demonetized. But there’s a large enough number of defunded firearms-related channels that the trend is clear. The move has huge implications for gun rights . . .
YouTube is this country’s second most popular search engine (after Google). The streaming service includes (included?) hundreds of channels devoted to all things firearm: equipment, technique, politics, competition, video games, hunting, the whole shooting match. These channels have been both a gateway to gun culture for countless newbies and a rallying place for lovers of firearms freedom.
By demonetizing firearms-related videos, there will be less of them. And the ones that remain will lack the financial resources to produce the quantity and quality of videos that helped bring gun muggles into the fold.
That said, YouTube won’t discourage smaller producers — gun guys and gals who post for the self-promotion, their need to educate and/or sheer hell of it. But if the no-ad-money-for-guns policy remains, it will have a dramatic chilling effect on YouTube “stars” like Hickok45, The Yankee Marshal and Nut ‘N Fancy.
These popular, high-profile channels may find other revenue sources. But the lack of YouTube money will take the wind out of the sails of the “best” — or at least most popular — firearms-related content.
The change was triggered by YouTube personalities posting content advertisers found objectionable. Most famously PewPewDie’s anti-semitic content. Apparently, gun-related content fits that description.
While channels like TFB TV are turning to Patreon to supplement the a lost ad revenue and remain on YouTube, it’s unlikely that voluntary contributions from viewers used to free content will take up the slack. Others channels are considering if it is worth continuing.
Folks like Military Arms Channel have seen this coming for some time and launched the gun specific video site Full30.com. But Mac’s baby only reaches the converted, not the large swaths of new and potential gun owners upon whom our gun rights may ultimately rest.
We here at TTAG are text-oriented. While we produce videos, and plan on creating more in the future, we are first and foremost writers. TFB and Guns.com have invested heavily in video and are understandably freaking the heck out. We’ll see how this all shakes out.