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An email blast from the National Shooting Sports Foundation:

You may see media coverage of the adoption by YouTube of a new firearms content policy that has the potential to affect our industry and your business.  

YouTube’s announcement this week of a new firearms content policy is troubling.  We suspect it will be interpreted to block much more content than the stated goal of firearms and certain accessory sales.  Especially worrisome is the potential for blocking educational content that serves an instructional and skill-building purpose.  YouTube’s policy announcement has also served to invite political activists to flood their review staff with complaints about any video to which they may proffer manufactured outrage.

Much like Facebook, YouTube now acts as a virtual public square.  The exercise of what amounts to censorship, then, can legitimately be viewed as the stifling of commercial free speech, which has constitutional protection. Such actions also impinge on the Second Amendment.

Facebook Precedent

In what we see as a parallel situation, Facebook has repeatedly shut down the pages of legitimate and reputable firearms retailers that were following Facebook’s own rules.  The interpretation depended on the reviewers, the vast majority of whom have little familiarity with our business practices, let alone our products, and many of whom do not even do their work from American soil.

Both First and Second Amendment rights are essential to the liberty we enjoy as American citizens. In a very real sense, the de facto curtailment of First Amendment right of its firearm related business users, YouTube is edging toward simultaneously infringing upon the Second Amendment rights of the customers of these affected businesses.

Commerce in Firearms is Essential

As Circuit Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote in his 36-page opinion, “Our forefathers recognized that the prohibition of commerce in firearms worked to undermine the right to keep and bear arms.”

This argument can be logically extended to social media platforms. It is time that social media platform management realizes its broader collective responsibility since it commands so much of today’s virtual public square. Suppressing the expression of First Amendment protected political speech and of commercial speech is wrong, even if they think they are acting in the public interest. The resulting impingement of lawful commerce in firearms that brings with it the infringement of Second Amendment rights is equally wrong and it should stop.

Tell YouTube that this new policy is a cause for concern. Ask that its implementation and review process be fair, fully informed and respectful of your business.  Please be polite and remember that the person on the other end will likely know little about firearms.  Provide comments directly to YouTube.

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  1. “Much like Facebook, YouTube now acts as a virtual public square. The exercise of what amounts to censorship, then, can legitimately be viewed as the stifling of commercial free speech, which has constitutional protection…”

    No, just NO. You have the right to free speech protection from the government, but a private corporation has the free right NOT to associate with you and your political views. Anyone who wants to post videos that YouTube doesn’t want can do so freely on their own website and pay their own hosting costs.

    “This argument can be logically extended to social media platforms…”
    No, no it can’t- unless you think that being a successful business turns you into the government, which is the body that the Constitution is meant to limit.

    (no, a baker shouldn’t have to bake a cake for something he doesn’t want to either)

    • California Constitution is broader. NSSF words should be very triggering for YouTube, because under California law, private places (like shipping malls) used like public facilities are afforded the first amendment protection. There can be no discrimination based on content.

      This is the law in CA and has been for decades. It has not (yet) been extended definitively to internet vendors like YouTube, but it soon will be.

      • It will soon be excepted if it was ever threatening tech, do you think tech or the NSSF has more sway in California?

        • I’d bet on CA justices upholding this precedent and extending it to tech. tech is going to do.. what, move to Texas?

        • I encourage my fellow patriots to go to for all their firearm video needs. You can find hickock45, sootch00, military arms channet, etc. Lets also support the advertisers on that channel.

        • If you think that, you are stoned on California gold. You’re thinking that elected California judiciary and a legislature would stand with the NSSF over quickly passing an exception for the largest and most profitable industry on the face of the earth. Yeah, that’s likely.

        • Sure CA hates guns. But they also hate private property.

          I am simply betting that they uphold precedent and still hate private property, more than guns.

        • That shopping malls can become a “public forum” (or public square if you prefer) was decided by the California Supreme Court, a decision that applies to all businesses operating in California. Neither lower California state courts nor the Ninth circuit can ignore a ruling on substantive state law by the state’s highest court. It is beyond reasonable dispute that, despite its efforts as of late to control content, YouTube and Face Book are “virtual” public fora, and hence is quite conceivable that, as they are both doing substantial business in this state, can be barred from banning speech with which it disagrees for (obviously) political reasons. As to Face Book, after this scandal with Cambridge Analytics, it may be a moot point. Its stock is plummeting, teens and millennials are fleeing to other platforms, and it may soon be subjected to federal regulation of its sharing of digital data. Its days may be numbered.

        • @ Mark N.
          And the government will be there to swoop and collect the pieces for its own uses once FB finally collapses. All according to plan.

    • There’s nothing quite like being willing to hold onto the absolute purity of your principles as you lose the war. As if there’s some sort of honor in losing, but never getting your hands dirty.

      The naivety here is mind boggling. You don’t have a free market. Clinging to the belief that the free market and thereby your pure principles and belief in it will win out ignores reality.

      • There’s a practical benefit to these principles.
        If we allow the government to interfere with YouTube to prevent them from banning gun content, it opens the door for more government control.

        If you don’t like YouTube’s policy, boycott it and/or form your own YouTube competitor. That’s the American way to deal with this sort of thing.

        • But they are banning content that was made years ago under the old guidelines. They are pulling a “switcheroo”. Just cuz its “your company” does not mean you can do whatever you want. If you laid out guidelines you have to follow them. Essentially, youtube is in a business arrangement with its content producers and it is changing the rules midstream.

          Also, if the gov. bust up monopolies in the past – I am not saying they should or should not just that they have – then consistency dictates that google has a monopoly and should be busted. “A monopoly” does not have to be a total monopoly to be one.

          If google does not like the rules it can takes its ball to another country. Private companies have never been able to do whatever they want in America – and google/youtube is not even entirely private as it is publicly traded. There are loads of regs for good and bad. Google should be held to the same standard.

        • JasonM: Does the belief in an unfettered free market outweigh the fundamental principals of fairness, equality, & justice?

          Do you believe the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was wrong?

          Does it not matter that there isn’t actually a free market in the segment under discussion here? Does it not matter that these companies are already in bed with the gov’t?

        • yeah, I figured that out really easily; when people say defacto, practically, virtual, those are all dispositive that they are not, in point of fact, or facto, the public square.

    • Youtube is a publicly traded company it must abide by tighter rules than a privately owned company.

      No company has the right to change the rules mid-stream or after the fact. Content produced by individuals that was within their policies at the time should remain. Especially since youtube collected ad revenue for (some) the videos.

      Last, monopoly busting is a thing and it was around long before google/youtube. If other companies can and have been hit with it then google should as well . . . especially since google’s monopoly could tread on our national security interests. If you believe in natural law then two of the greatest principles of it are reciprocity and consistency.

    • Full30 will not post the video that was the one that sparked the YouTube policy change. So looks like YouTube is not the only one censoring content And yes it was posted by one of the channels on Full30

    • Full30 will not post the video that was the one that sparked the YouTube policy change. So looks like YouTube is not the only one censoring content And yes it was posted by one of the channels on Full30

    • Full30 will not post the video that was the one that sparked the YouTube policy change. So looks like YouTube is not the only one censoring content yes it was posted by one of the channels on Full30

  2. YouTube is a private enterprise, it’s their gig therefore they can do what they want. Don’t like it? Start your own competing video website with guns on it. Anybody can put up a web page, anybody can market it. Ask other gun people to post their vids and you’ve got another YouTube.

    • Full30 will not post the video that sparked the YouTube policy change. The video is from one of the active channels on Full30

  3. the only thing that will change the policy of Facebook and Youtube is a loss of users, which would translate to loss in advertising income. If it’s that important to you, like it is to me, then ‘sting’ companies that work to subvert our constitutional right to own guns by not providing them any of your business, which includes viewing their content. I lived for over 50 years without Facebook and Youtube, I don’t need them at all, they need me (in terms of user/views volume).

    • FB is hemorrhaging users and money. They lost something on the order of 2.8 million users under 25 last year and are predicted to lose another 2.1 million under 25ers this year.

      FB getting caught manipulating data, improperly transferring user data etc cost them like 6.8% of their stock price in intraday trading today.

      Deep trouble? Maybe, maybe not. Still, trouble.

      • Facebook GROWTH has slowed down, Q4 was only 1.4billion daily users. Facebook’s EPS is up 76% year-over-year, revenue growth is up 47%. Average revenue per daily active user reached $7.51 vs $5.95 a year ago. That 26% increase shows how even as Facebook’s daily user growth has grown a more modest 16% over the year, Facebook has found better and better ways to squeeze money out of people. They have a current market cap of $492.08Bill

        They’re stock took a hit this week because of the Cambridge Analytics and sharing of data with third party issues. Long story short, they’re doing just fine.

        • “Facebook GROWTH has slowed down”

          It depends on what you’re looking at. The numbers I posted in terms of 25 and under aged users are unqualified losses year over year for that age group. Those are offset by other age groups.

          As I pointed out, they lost some serious money in intraday trading today (and yes, I’m quite well aware of why). The question is if that will continue or not. A single data point does not a trend make and basing anything in the stock market on a day or a week is stupid. However, FB has put themselves in a bad position.

          I would not say they’re “doing fine” because there are a ton of unknowns in FB’s future due to politics. Cambridge Analytica didn’t do anything wrong by 2012 Obama standards but they did do something wrong by 2018 Trump standards. If the media and the Left (but I repeat myself) really turn on FB over this it could spell real trouble for the company. In the “age of Trump” that could very well happen. The Left will throw just about anyone and anything under the bus to trash Trump. Amusingly however, they’ll likely use FB to do it… Either way, the “burn this motherfucker down” crowd could do a lot of damage to FB if FB is determined by “the powers that be” to have violated the Left’s political code.

        • They had above 80% market penetration in the US, on Instagram is where all the growth has moved with the sub 25 group, Facebook owns Instagram.

  4. Wow… the ancap retards are out in force today… Requiring companies presenting themselves as a public forum to treat all speech equally is not an infringement of their rights.

      • No, he realizes what’s at stake here. As a result he actually wants to win this fight and he’s willing to get his hands a little dirty in the process. He doesn’t cling to idealistic and unrealistic beliefs that there’s a pure unfettered free market in social media that magically will somehow sort everything out if only he just believes in it enough.

        • You can’t just wish it into existence, that’s not how the legal system works in the US.

          If you FEELZ like they’re doing something wrong, you can vote with your feet. Or complain on an internet forum that allows for you to do it.

          Hmm, where would that be….

        • B-Rad:

          You’re still not getting it. You’re not going to beat the grabbers and their buddies on the left fighting like good and proper gentlemen with a sense of honor and dignity. Acting like the idea of using the courts or using the regulatory state like the lefties do is so beyond the pale we shouldn’t touch it is how you’re going to lose this fight.

        • B-Rad

          You do remember that the Constitution exists to protect individual rights from government. The law exists to protect individual rights from other individuals. The right to a free exchange of ideas far exceeds a minor inconvenience of forcing a soulless corporation to actually live up to their advertising.

        • So yesterday:

          pwrserge says:
          March 20, 2018 at 16:22

          The corporation isn’t the person dipshit. It simply recognizes that the owner of a corporation has a right to use that corporation to exercise his own rights. Such as free speech.

          You have to pick a lane, either the owner can exercise their rights, or they can’t.

          As was said earlier, PragerU has filed suit on this already, they’ll have an opportunity to argue this exact point, then appeal, then appeal, etc. They have spent 3 months delaying the proceedings, Google wants to fast track it, because they know they’ll win in their backyard, and PragerU, with the law firm with Pete Wilson, are preparing their appeal prior to going to court so after judgement they can immediately appeal to the 9th.

        • Yes B-rad… I strive for the greatest freedom for the greatest number. That’s called being a conservative rather than an ancap retard. Sometimes, government intervention is necessary to balance the rights of individuals. In this case, the individual right to free speech is orders of magnitude more important than a minor inconvenience to a company that’s forced to treat all speech equally.

      • This is one of the most moronic comments to respond to saying that corporations need to be forced to do right. Youtube is part of a corporation IT IS NOT HUMAN IT HAS NO RIGHTS. A corporation is an inhuman entity that often times does the worst things for individuals because it is what is best for business. A corporation has to be forced to do right through the law and even then they do everything they can to wiggle through any cracks they can.

        Put a boot on their chest and knife to the throat. It’s the only way to ensure that a corporation is kept in check.

        I’m all for freedom of small businesses but once they go corporation they need to be leashed hard.

      • Big gov intervention has been around awhile and sucks. But if it sucks it would suck less if it was consistently applied. I am not willing to give quarter to my enemy under the guise of the constitution if it does not apply to me. Reciprocity is greater even than the U.S. Constitution.

  5. YT seems to be facing a backlash. FB most certainly is, just look at the stories about that. Will they get fucked? I dunno but it’s possible.

    I continue to argue that major firearms channels should, for the time being, play by YT’s absurd rules as much as they can while also raising awareness with their viewers and subs to raise as much hell as possible. MAC for example had, as of yesterday morning, 689,655 subs. No where near the punching power of PewDiePie (61 million or something) but enough to have some punching power especially if combined with other channels.

    Months back SJW’s, using YT Terms of Service went after PewDiePie and, more apropos to this conversation, Kraut and Tea (112,459 subs as of this writing) along with other free speech advocates. The backlash to their attacks on free speech channels like K&T was pretty swift and unarguably devastating. YT threatened K&T with pretty severe sanctions, his response was to “play by the rules” while rallying the troops. The SJW’s got fucked and YT backed off pretty quick (like within about 60 days or something).

    For now I see that as the way to fight this interwebz battle. “Play by the rules” to keep your seat at the table and fight back. Breaking the rules and getting a life-time ban means you lose your seat at the table and have no voice. For all the guffawing on TTAG and other places there really isn’t a useful alternative to YT at this point which is exactly why YT thinks they can get away with this.

    Finally, asking these channels, many of whom derive some fairly significant income from YT (even after YT’s 45% rake), to “stand on principle” and get banned simply isn’t reasonable. They shouldn’t have to, nor should they be asked to, fall on their sword and take a hit that might cripple their business or personal finances over this. The people asking them to do so, unless volunteering to pay for the channel’s losses, should consider this.

    • Nicely done analysis, 9. Another thing that might be worth doing is for POTG to visit as many Mom’s Demand type channels and start complaining and reporting the sites as triggering and anti-American, or whatever other reasons seem appropriate. If enough SJWs get their sites questioned, maybe they’ll retract their horns a bit.

        • So deception & dishonesty are okay and don’t violate your principles, but using gov’t to enforce the foundational principles of fairness, equality, and justice on a private company is not okay and violates your principles.

          Cognitive dissonance anyone?

    • It just seems odd to me that we are a very divided country but the major internet communication platforms are all controlled by one side.

      Taxpayers, through the DOD and funding many research university IT programs, developed the internet. Facebook, Google, etc. built their platforms on this publicly-funded network.

      It is suprising that conservatives don’t have their own platforms the same way they have cable news and talk radio channels.

    • Full30 will not post the video that sparked the YouTube policy change. The video is from one of the active channels on Full30

  6. The industry and individuals making vids and promoting new products, will find a new friendlier outlet.
    Just as Photo Bucket screwed alot of us with charging for hosting. Plenty of new or unknown at the time services have taken up Buckets slack.
    They the users should do the same to You Tube. Let them leave it in droves.

  7. YES!!! Finally someone playing offense. The 2nd defends the 1st once again!

    “Much like Facebook, YouTube now acts as a virtual public square. The exercise of what amounts to censorship, then, can legitimately be viewed as the stifling of commercial free speech, which has constitutional protection. Such actions also impinge on the Second Amendment.”


      • Because there’s so much virtue in letting the left use your principles against you and keeping a stiff upper lip while being unfairly oppressed… Losing with your virtue intact and your hands spotless is better than winning.

        • So… John… You going to accuse our editor here of being a Nazi next? Unlike you, I’ve lived under actual communism. Using government authority to protect free speech is only “communism” to someone more interested in ideological purity than results.

        • John and several others commenters are sideline sitting stone throwers. They have no actual idea on how to win, but are repulsed by the idea of using the gov’t to regulate a private business (that’s already in bed with the gov’t) because it violates their principles. However, they apparently have no problem with the private business violating the foundational principles of fairness, justice, and equality.

          It seems fairness, justice, and equality are not as important as naively believing in the unfettered free market (that doesn’t exist in internet search engines & social media sites) will fix the issue on its own.

        • There is no such thing as a “free market” and never has been, a fact morons like John should be grateful for as they would not be on the “master” side of the next version of the slave trade.

      • Ok guys I think we can find a balance between North Korea and Somalia. LOL
        Telling companies that they don’t have to develop algorithms banning “guns” and “MAGA,” or having to form a Trust and Safety commissariat with the likes of the SPLC and CAIR is the opposite of infringement. They will actually save money by not having to maintain infrastructure, by being forced to DEREGULATE. Case in point, Common carrier-style legislation keeps Fed Ex out of the anti-gun culture war. They can virtue signal how anti-gun they are but they are forced to be neutral and say sorry we have to ship guns because it’s the law. Win, win.

  8. Of course it’s concerning considering that Youtube always prided itself on free speech. They’re a bunch of fucking liars and Nazi pigs who can suck my cock and go to Hell.

    Having said that, I think the gun channels on Youtube should demand that a grandfathering of videos that were uploaded before these new policies were enacted should not be subject to terms of use violations. There are so many videos out there now on Youtube that asking these content creators to spends days deleting videos so they don’t get their channels terminated is downright bullshit considering those videos made Youtube a lot of money.

    I love all the content the guys like MAC, Hickok, Yankee, and many others make on Youtube, so I’m not going to abandon the place, at least not until Youtube outright bans any educational gun videos.

  9. Funny how the NSSF is complaining about Youtube banning videos of the thing the NSSF called for a ban of and still hasn’t issued an apology for.

    • Yes, don’t support them on this because they failed your 2A purity test in the past. Why find common ground with someone when you can to advance the POTG agenda when you can sit on the sidelines and and throw stones?

      • I support the content creators, not the NSSF. The NSSF, on the advice of the treacherous NRA, has poisoned their own reputation. They SHOULD suffer for it.

        • Blah, blah, blah…

          More shortsighted nonsense. Your 2A purity is more important to you than winning. You can’t win on your own, but you’re not even willing to make a strategic short term alliance with anyone not as “pure” as you even if it means you’d win.


  10. This policy you are proposing is absurd and and makes no sense in reducing, preventing or stopping anyone from doing anything illegal with a gun. Will you ban all the channels that show violence such as stupid tricks and “Fails” content also?

  11. Just saw this on another site(, haven’t had time to read all the posts on here so this may be old news….anyway, YouTube is banning all content that shows firearm demos, selling firearms or accessories or how to assemble guns. I sent them a nastygram the other day, for all the good it will do unless our millions get on it too. Oh, I posted last week I think that my wife had been ill and in the hospital for a couple of weeks. For those of you who expressed concern, prayers and best wishes, thank you. She is home now and is rapidly getting better. Thank you TTAG readers and POTG!!

  12. I think one or two things have to happen to apply civil rights protections to YouTube users; 1. The baker losses the gay wedding cake case in the SCOTUS, and/or 2. YouTube, Facebook, et. al., get subjected to “common carrier” FTC rules because of their size and monopoly power.

      • A nice reply.

        The First Amendment is binding on Congress, and has come to be applied to all levels and aspects of government in the US over the years. It is not and never has been binding on publishers, employers, and other parties in the private sector. It is an overreach of Congress’ authority to FORCE publishers to lend their facilities involuntarily to speech that they cannot condone and decide not to propagate. This is why we say that, in the US, you are entitled to your OWN soapbox, but nobody has to provide you with one. The “Shall Not Censor” legislation would indeed require private enterprises to provide people with soapboxes, at least in the cases where the enterprise would rather not propagate someone’s “undesirable” speech. On the one hand, I don’t see that the government has the authority to do that. On the other, if the government did do that, and got away with it, we wouldn’t have to wait long before there would be other laws to promote “free speech” in private spaces. Once the precedent was established for government to pass law dealing with speech and press, it wouldn’t take long for tricky lawyers and politicians to create laws that actually restrict speech and publication, in the name of making it “more free.” Orwell’s Minitrue would arrive not too long after that.

        –James Anderson Merritt

        • Being treated fairly, equally, and justly by a company is secondary to keeping a near monopolistic company that’s in bed with the gov’t free from potential regulation because of a naive belief in an unfettered free market (that doesn’t exist in these areas). Got it…

          BTW, do you oppose the Civil Rights Act of 1964 too?

        • Dood, youtube has a monopoly on free speech, or a monopoly on social media, or what? You heard of Facebook, Myspace, Alta Vista. You seem to have found a place, or are you not on TTAG now?

          Laws exist in America, if you don’t like it you have two choices, GTFO, or pick up a rifle, I doubt you’re doing any more than bitching on the interwebz.

        • RogueVal

          AltaVista? MySpace? Dude… you might want to check the calendar, it’s not 2002 anymore.

          For an example of how the left wing actively coludes to prevent social media startups outside their control… look at

  13. Every time I have ever reported hate speech or content that supports violence towards other, I get a message back that says something like we value your opinion but others have different views than you. If you don’t want to see this content here is how you can block it.

    Video of an Imam telling members to rise up and kill Jews…just block the content
    Video of a guy showing how to safely disassemble a firearm to clean it….. Content violates community standards.

    I call BULLSHIT on this kind of behavior.


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