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Given YouTube’s socially conscious stance that has led to the removal of thousands of gun-related videos — many of which are as innocuous as cleaning demonstrations or depict bump stock enabled rapid fire, you’d think the Google-owned might have developed a new system-wide standard for the kind of “responsible” content they’re willing to host. You’d be wrong.

On any given day there are almost 300,000 videos on YouTube providing step-by-step instructions how to construct bombs—pipe bombs, pressure cooker bombs, you name the type. Some of the videos are the work of teen-age backyard pranksters mixing up household chemicals for “Gatorade bottle bombs” (lethal in their own right), others are so-called “film prop” instructional videos showing how to construct bombs with more “boom” than bark for film-making purposes. But the clear majority are military-grade instructional videos painstakingly walking a would-be Mark Conditt or ISIS bomber how to construct a lethal pipe or pressure cooker bomb.

Yes, that’s only a ping bong ball, but the principle is the same and could easily be scaled up. Something YouTube apparently approves of.

You’re probably thinking, big deal, these are only a bunch of suburban urchins with too much time on their hands. There isn’t anything really dangerous out there, right?

In the past five years ISIS inspired bombers relied heavily on such tactical YouTube videos to build their homemade bombs. According to Boston police and the FBI, the Boston Marathon Tsarneav brothers constructed their bombs from YouTube videos and Inspire magazine—al Qaeda’s “how to be a terrorist” handbook. So, too, did Syed Farouk and Tashfeen Malik, the San Bernardino terrorists who built a bomb-factory in their garage.

Oh. Well, that’s OK. Just as long as they didn’t view anything dangerous like an AR un-boxing video.

Daily Beast columnist Mark Ginsburg is, of course, calling for someone to pass a law.

Under the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA), social media companies are immune from liability for uploaded content. Congress has carved out two exemptions to this blanket immunity: child pornography and, just recently, sex trafficking.

How can Congress continue to permit social media companies to arbitrarily determine when they are going to remove content merely in response to public pressure? A tortoise-paced half-hearted pledge to act is glaringly insufficient, especially when American lives are at stake. It also strains credulity that one of the largest and wealthiest technology companies does not have the computer software wherewithal to remedy this challenge.

We’re for less regulation and an open forum in virtually all things. It’s when companies set arbitrary standards and apply even those to only certain groups that tech platforms like Facebook and YouTube become the targets of calls for federal regulation. It’s hard to have much sympathy for them.


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    • No thanx. I’d prefer such things not regularly pop up on my feed…
      If I want to gag at what I see I’ll go read the New York Times.

  1. Remember, the second amendment may be the first to go but it won’t be the last. Yeah it’s a double standard but trust me their censorship will get there.

  2. The solution is right there in the article.

    The legal immunities in the CDA and other laws were passed based on the argument that social media companies were going to be the new common carriers, and unless they had broad legal immunity then they would never be able to provide this wonderful new public forum.

    Now that they have created this new public forum (largely due to the legal indulgences given them by Congress), YouTube, FaceBook, et al., want to behave like media publishers (i.e., “it’s *my* platform and *I* can decide what gets posted here”), rather than common carriers. As Sen. Cruz cogently pointed out at a hearing a few weeks ago, they shouldn’t be allowed to have it both ways. They should be forced to make a choice: either be a common carrier (no viewpoint discrimination, but you’ll generally get legal immunity for what your users post), or a media publisher (you can decide what gets published, but you’re now legally responsible for defamation, copyright infringement, etc. that happens on “your” platform).

    Pass something like that, and YouTube would be brought to heel very quickly. Without the broad legal immunity it currently enjoys, it would be sued out of existence very quickly.

    • This, this, and exactly this.
      Your house, your rules? Cool. But if that’s the case, you are freely admitting your role in deciding what content goes up, and you should rightly be held responsible for that.

      • Heaven help them if they have a video on how a Christian Baker doesn’t want to bake a cake for homosexuals.

  3. Banning bomb making videos would be Islamaphobic.
    Everybody knows all those right wing Christians bitterly cling to their bibles and guns. The Caliphate in Chief said so.

  4. You tube an bombs, hah, yeh they want hits on bomb manufacture, then your IP address goes right into Homeland security files . Inter net one of Big Brothers eyes

  5. Book burning nazis. Anybody surprised by this?

    • disappointed but not surprised, now you tubes off my list n I sure liked watching sport bikes outrun cops,that and the music

  6. 300,000 videos on YouTube providing step-by-step instructions how to construct bombs, the clear majority are military-grade instructional videos.

    That’s just a load of bullshit. Show us the links. And as a side note, a pressure cooker is already a bomb. Any steam container is, the whole trick is to KEEP them from exploding.

    And if you can’t figure out how to make a pipe bomb, well the world needs ditch diggers too.

    • There or not, I’m damn sure not going to type in” How to make a bomb” on any Internet platform

    • I just typed in “how to make a bomb YouTube” and and got instant relevant results. Playing around with that, using different terms got me more and more. There are at least thousands.

    • A REAL bomb, not baking soda and vinegar. The was one new report from the FBI using smokeless, but not actual construction.

      FYI there are 29 million videos on how to make a gun

      • If you aren’t finding these then you are trying at all. There are many easy to find videos showing the construction of highly destructive and effective bombs.

  7. CENSORSHIP : What others can do to you no matter who they are and for what ever reason they dream up if they disagree with what you say or do. Funny, that is not what I was taught in school way back when I went to school. My” opinion” on why this new definition seams to be the norm and is very much incorrect would be looked at briefly and a censor, who ever they would be at the time,and they would use their power/position to suppress my opinion as objectionable even though it is the majority belief. They would just decide my opinion not to be important because the uneducated censor would just disagree with it (no real facts to back up their reasoning) and use their censorship POWER to just make changes. Does this all sound like what is happening today?! Please, stop being silent.Let our collective voices be heard.Let’s put a stop to this madness before it is to late.

    • I think it’s to late. Some voices only have the power of the wind that was used to form the words

  8. Who would have imagined that youtube would become the pinacle of censorship. As the premier censorship platform what’s next for youtube?

  9. Dan that’s offensive. They’re not bombs, they’re party-poppers of peace.

  10. Dan, you should stick to guns. Your knowledge of chemistry and physics is…lacking…That ping pong ball ‘bomb’ could never be anything more than a glorified firework, regardless of scale. It has no brisance whatsoever, and even if it weighed ten pounds, it’d be more likely to damage your eyes than anything else

    • It all depends on the material inside the ping pong ball. Water and baking powder is harmless, while RDX, composition-B, ball bearings, aren’t harmless. Of course if you are cooking RDX then I doubt you are using youtube anyway.

      • Want to learn to make RDX?
        Learn to make nitroglycerin?
        I can go down the list for every high explosives known, including the non nitrogen containing one favored by shoe and underwear bombers. Multiple videos from different people. It’s all right there on YouTube but they all say don’t try this at home so it’s ok. Right?

  11. Well, as former Army EOD, I can say that a day at the rifle range is fun.
    Nothing can compare to the, shall we say “indiscriminate” fun that can be had with
    modern fertilizers and fossil fuels……..

  12. What was the biggest killing by an individual in the usa? Oh right, it was an arson attack on a nightclub.
    Biggest one by multiple attackers? A plane.
    We should thank every idiot who uses a gun for his attack since it minimizes casualty count. Of course i’d rather have them not kill anybody at all, but a gun is not the best tool for the job and we are better off if they stick to that.

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