YouTube has been on the warpath this month, removing gun content at record pace. On the bright side, they haven’t been issuing “community guidelines strikes” like they did to me last time. Which is good. If they had done so when they removed these two most recent videos, my account would have been deleted and I’d be banned from uploading.
On the down side, it appears as though YouTube is now justifying their ability to remove basically any gun-related content whatsoever . . .
This is a booth tour video taken at NASGW. A factory rep for FightLite simply showed us their then-brand-new RAIDER pistol (now called the SCR Pistol) and explained its features. So what “community guideline” did my video violate?
Ah, yes. It was “…promoting the sale of firearms.”
Apparently so was my CzechPoint Sa Vz. 61 review video, which YouTube removed on August 16th.
Thanks to Full30, these vids are back online and you can see for yourself just how objectionable (or not) they truly are. Certainly they do show firearms while discussing their features, functionality, price, and design. You know, a walk-through of a new product and a review. Is that “promoting the sale of firearms?” I think you could make that argument whether it’s directly, intentionally selling or incidentally resulting in purchasing interest, sure.
So at this point, any video that isn’t clearly anti-gun, pro-gun control, or, I suppose, an extremely negative review culminating in “do not buy this gun!” advice is fair game for YouTube censorship. After all, if it shows a gun in a non-negative manner, it could be argued that it’s “promoting the sale of firearms” on some level, right?
SHOT Show booth tour videos, how-to videos, review and testing videos, unboxing videos, hunting videos, self-defense videos, training videos, military videos, competition shooting videos . . . even various movie trailers? Where do they draw the line? Is there a line?
As I see it, they’ve effectively given themselves carte blanche to remove gun content as and whenever they please. If they don’t like it or they don’t like the content producer, it’s gone.
Yes, yes, I realize as a business they’ve always had the ability to approve or deny whatever content they want. Historically, though, YouTube (and Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, etc.) has attempted to define what is and isn’t acceptable content through their cryptic community guidelines and other terms and conditions. They’ve sought to appear fair by applying clearly defined guidelines equally to all contributors.
At this point any pretense of equitable treatment is gone. By exploiting such a vague and subjective measure as “promoting the sale of firearms,” YouTube can and apparently will remove whatever gun-related content it desires while using this fuzzy guideline to justify it. Worse yet, I fear far too many people will just nod and say, “makes sense.”
Meanwhile, my YouTube channel will be changing effective immediately. My subsequent YouTube videos will be “teasers” with the sole function of sending people over to my Full30 channel for the full version. I’m not sure this will be enough to steer clear of “promoting the sale of firearms” should I, for instance, state the gun model, show it on screen, and tell viewers to head to Full30 for the full review. But I suppose we’ll find out.
While we’re at it, here are the two videos YouTube removed from my channel in June, issuing me a Community Guidelines strike in the process: CMMG DefCan 3Ti Review and FN 15 Tactical II CA Range Review (yes, it’s a California-compliant AR-15 review).
Shameless plug: My Full30 channel is brand spanking new! I have precisely zero subscribers as I write this. I’d love your help in bumping that number up a bit! I’ll be uploading the most popular 10% or so of videos from my current YouTube catalog soon, and then all new videos will go on Full30 in their full form. See you there!