YouTube Ad Policy Killing Gun Channels?

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.

comments

  1. avatar Alexander says:

    Wonder if the same criteria applies to Hollywood?…

    1. avatar Chris T from KY says:

      Pew Pew Die is not anti Semitic. And even it he was I thought the 1st amendment was so important to the people who run TTAG?????
      As a private company You Tube can do as it pleases. However companies big or small following a left wing ideology and working to take away the Bill of Rights one piece at a time are the enemy.

      Black conservative channels are also being shut down or demonetized.

      1. avatar Keystone says:

        You’re right, Pewds isn’t an anti-semite. I don’t watch him, but the whole drama around him was simply the old media throwing a temper tantrum at their increasing irrelevance in the face of new social media/Youtube stars like Pewds who have far more sway and credibility than the media that tried to smear him.

        It’s like they think that people will come back to them if Youtube and sites like it that host real, non-biased or agenda driven media go away. If anything, it’ll be the final nail in the coffin for them, as people simply go to a new video service and tell the media to f**k itself for trying to ruin everyone’s fun.

        1. avatar Chris T from KY says:

          Talk radio, now podcasts, the internet, all over them have become alternatives to old media. I hope the freedom of you tube is not lost. If its lost don’t worry. The free market will provide a way. It always has. Lots of people don’t like Rush Limbaugh, but he saved AM radio financially. Now conservatives own it. And “they” know that conservatives in many different forms own youtube. RoKu is calling.

  2. avatar Wiregrass says:

    I find the the big guys entertaining and I do watch their reviews, particularly Hickok45. Nutnfancy has never really appealed to me. This is hardly threatening stuff.

    I have found the smaller YouTube content producers to be the most helpful though for a lot of gun disassembly and reassembly and reloading instructions. I built an AR lower with step by YouTube instructions. Once the monetized vids move on, I’m sure these guys will be next.

    There are some idiots out there though, last week I saw a video of a clown seating homemade bullets with a pair of channel-locks and making the Glock he was using go into battery by beating on the back of the slide. You will have to put up with some of that if you believe in free speech.

  3. It’s not just gun channels. h3h3Productions had a bunch of content flagged and they don’t do guns at all. In fact, there are a lot of top creators bitching about this latest youtube screw up. This is not targeted at gun channels.

  4. avatar former water walker says:

    I generally only look at YouTube to research a particular gun(or ammo). And that’s mostly little guys who don’t have a commercial interest in that gat. So Goggle/YouTube owns their channels and can screw people at will. Use other internet providers!

  5. avatar Hoplopfheil says:

    This sucks for people who like gun channels. Does YouTube have a right to do it? Of course. But it still sucks.

    The channels probably won’t go away, but they will find it harder to fund new content without those ad dollars.

    The crazy thing is, there have to be some advertisers who would LOVE to advertise on gun channels. Maybe YouTube just can’t make guarantees that the ads would go to the right place algorithmically.

  6. avatar Shawn says:

    For YouTube it’s more of an overall mass censorship push. It’s not just gun channels. Pretty much any conservative channel including conservative political commentary is suffering from the same thing.

    The thing is progressive liberal freedom heaters cannot compete on YouTube as a platform. Twitter and Facebook rampantly censor conservative view points and even go so far as attacking conservatives who complain about it. YouTube has yet to fully do that but they are on the way.

    The left cannot compete in the marketplace of open ideas. So they need to censor us in every way shape and form to get their views across. I hope this really bites them in the ass. I’m not really a fan of info wars but the video by Paul Joseph Watson “my last video ever?” sums it up nicely as well.

    1. avatar Jason says:

      Actually, a lot of channels that would fall into the category of progressive are also being hit by the same policy. A lot of LBGT channels are finding their ads pulled as well.

      This isn’t some left wing conspiracy to silence the conservatives. It’s a corporation deciding not to risk money on controversial content.

      1. avatar samuraichatter says:

        No sale. If that was they case they would still grandfather in already produced content that was already monetized. Youtube is currently fighting a lawsuit over this point.

        Also . . . Much of the G-rated conservative content out there is not only being de-monetized but cannot be accessed when in restricted mode. Libraries, schools etc. choose on their own to if they want to enable restricted mode but youtube determines what content is restricted. This is content wide not just monetized content.

        Just because a few progressive videos are getting the ax (and some are R-rated/controversial just like some conservative videos are R-rated/controversial) does not mean their is not an agenda. The way youtube pushes The Young Turks should tell anyone its/their motivation.

  7. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    No…Not just gun related content….Others…The Slingshot channel was recently attacked as well by “UK left-wing, globalist, fake news”, the Daily mail. after they accused the popular slingshot, and weapons designer with “Training Terrorists”?! And popular UFO research channel SECURETEAM 10 suffered demonetization, and other media attacks…So, the Leftist are definitely out there taking potshots at “alt-media”. Mostly because of “Pizzagate , and Spirit Cooking with Hillary Clinton, and co…” And DON’T forget “alt-news” that started it all….Alex Jones, and INFOWARS…Now the Left-wing media corporations,and moguls are going after ALL “alt-media/ FRINGE news” as retaliation…Since, they control the platform, and can “defund” people they DON’T like…..

  8. avatar Jeremy says:

    Youtube, as a private company, has the right to determine the policies that it sets. If the problem is funding, then we need to look to other solutions. Patreon is a great resource for funding private endeavors, and that will be a partial solution. Perhaps the NRA, or another group, could fund some creators, to keep the videos alive. Youtube will host any video, but they have no responsibility to fund any particular creator, or type of video. We have come to rely on their service, but it is still a private company. Let’s come up with other solutions, to fund the content we want!

    1. avatar Jeremy says:

      I had a further thought on this. Maybe the answer is a website devoted to gun videos. The videos could still be hosted on youtube, but the website could direct advertising dollars to that video, and add pre-roll ads to them. They could then find advertisers that were interested in advertising to our audience. Just a thought.

      1. avatar D Y says:

        Problem with that idea is twofold. As mentioned in the article, millions of people know and use youtube, even if they don’t know guns. They could find what they want by searching youtube, or maybe stumbling across a video. A niche website strictly for gun videos wouldn’t be stumbled upon the same way. Second is that google has actively restricted search results having to do with guns (something about advertising revenue or somesuch) and if they decided to filter any links to that website out of any suggestions or searches, it would be fairly easy to keep new traffic to a gun only website small.

    2. avatar Roymond says:

      But if they’re going to filter access on a political basis — which is what this is — the they should have to give notice that they are a political entity.

  9. This has been a longtime coming unfortunately. Facebook does it too. They take down our pictures and videos all the time, even if we’re just promoting gear.

  10. avatar Anonymous says:

    Anyone and everyone on youtube with gun stuff should just pack up and go elsewhere. Social liberal democrats are in control of media and Internet places of consumption. It’s time conservatives start their own businesses in these areas.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.brid.tv/7-best-alternatives-youtube-video-monetization/amp/

  11. avatar Jean-Claude says:

    While it sucks, and it is unfair. demonitizing gun channels is not a big deal to me. I really don’t care if hobbyists like TFB can’t make a living playing with guns. Especially TFB. Their content, especially Patrick’s videos, are lame. They are uninformative and only seemingly exist to show him burning through as much free Ventura Munitions ammo as possible.

    Losing these channels will not affect my ability to inform myself about firearms. I bought guns before YouTube, and I will buy them afterwards. I can frequent gun forums and buy gun magazines.

    The demonitizing of political channels is far more problematic. Since there is only ONE news station that shows any conservative content, taking away the ability for these channels to spread their info is scary. Alex Jones has apparently lost millions of dollars of income from Google ads recently. That’s especially laughable since his listenership dwarfs all the mainstream media. The traditional media are dying, and if the new media only holds one viewopoint, people will not be fully informed.

  12. avatar Ivan Chestnovonich says:

    Except Pewdiepie didn’t post anti-semetic content. WSJ took 9 clips out of context and said “Look, muh anti-semitism”

    1. avatar the ruester says:

      And redpilling tens of millions of young voters in the process. Only old fogies still buy into corporate narratives.

  13. avatar Ed says:

    Isn’t it awesome having liberal idiots in charge of EVERYTHING!?! Way to go jewtube…reverse nazis.

  14. avatar Anonymous says:

    Anyone and everyone on youtube with gun stuff should just pack up and go elsewhere. Social liberal democrats are in control of media and Internet places of consumption. It’s time conservatives start their own businesses in these areas.

    http://www.brid.tv/7-best-alternatives-youtube-video-monetization/amp/

  15. avatar mark s. says:

    They’ll fail , they always fail , their ideas are failures , their policies are failures , their agenda is failing , their anti-God approach to the worlds failings are failures and their thought processes are a big FAIL . Truth and freedom will prevail .

  16. avatar Jack says:

    full30.com

  17. avatar rt66paul says:

    Maybe someone could come up with a GunTube site?

    1. avatar Roymond says:

      How about FreeTube? or PeopleTube?

  18. avatar J says:

    If the masses seek info on guns, i dont see why they couldn’t find full30.

  19. avatar Ed Rogers says:

    My channel has always been about sharing my experience, sometimes when I’m getting it. I’ll check to see if any of my firearms related videos have been demonetized:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sFGIckYa-Ck

  20. avatar Ric H says:

    The NRA has been spending a lot of money on YouTube advertising. Maybe it is time for them to pull the ads and the money it costs them from YouTube.

  21. avatar Penetty says:

    YouTube does not produce its own product. Content producers are giving away their hard work so YouTube can turn it into ad revenue. All these social media companies are like restaurants without kitchens, serving other people’s take-out. They don’t like you, so screw them. All they really have is name recognition.

    Take your content to other sites. Sites that don’t have their heads up their asses. It’s up to us to promote, and link that content. We need to let advertisers know that there are better places to spend their ad money. Let YouTube dry up and blow away.

    1. avatar Penetty says:

      Btw, it’s not just gun channels. It’s anything that doesn’t fit the left coast worldview.

  22. avatar Jason Byrne says:

    TTAG, why don’t you guys spin off a video site to host Hikok45, et al.?

    Seems like a good opportunity to expand and continue spreading the word.

  23. avatar M1Lou says:

    Want to see what’s going on? 1791L does a good breakdown.

  24. avatar Racer88 says:

    I thought Hickok45 left Youtube several months ago. Went to a new “gun-friendly” host… Full30.com. I may be misremembering. Is he still posting new videos to Youtube?

  25. avatar Racer88 says:

    It occurred to me (as I read the comments), that losing all conservative video sourced ad revenue would be a significant hit to YOUTUBE. Can they afford to give all of it up? My instincts tell me that the conservative videos probably generate more revenue than liberal videos… just as Fox News has a majority market share.

    No? Yes? They’re willing to give up all that revenue to make a “political” stand?

  26. avatar Bohucka says:

    I’m one of Hickok45’s and the Yankee Marshall’s subscribers, but for the life of me I’ve never been able to figure out how YouTube has made money simply due to me watching their channels. I receive no ad popups or suggested videos that would appear to monetize them. Either my ad blockers work well, or I am being subliminally sold something. But I haven’t bought anything, so I’m confused…

  27. avatar Roymond says:

    “Don’t be evil” is to Google as Pravda was to Russian news.

  28. avatar Dmills says:

    Good that we are now fully aware of this agenda and what they see as a reasonable response. Time to set up our own non-liberal controlled content site. The big gun and hunting corporations can support as well. Time for Libtube to lose so many viewers they will choke on their decision.

  29. avatar kcender says:

    Less sources, less choices for content. PC? Probably, but with less choices comes less understanding of other POV. So sad, really.

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