I had previously written about YouTube deleting bump fire stock videos from well-known gun channels combined with the doling out of Community Guidelines strikes. Many asked how videos that were not against the Community Guidelines could get strikes. The answer? YouTube changed the guidelines, and as usual, gave no prior warning.
The new guidelines are even more vague than the old guidelines, especially given their current application. From the new section on “Harmful or dangerous content”:
“While it might not seem fair to say you can’t show something because of what viewers might do in response, we draw the line at content that intends to incite violence or encourage dangerous or illegal activities that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death.
Videos that we consider to encourage dangerous or illegal activities include instructional bomb making, choking games, hard drug use, or other acts where serious injury may result. A video that depicts dangerous acts may be allowed if the primary purpose is educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic (EDSA), and it isn’t gratuitously graphic. For example, a news piece on the dangers of choking games would be appropriate, but posting clips out of context from the same documentary might not be.
Videos that incite others to commit acts of violence are strictly prohibited from YouTube. If your video asks others to commit an act of violence or threatens people with serious acts of violence, it will be removed from the site.
We are very sensitive to any harmful or dangerous content that involves minors. If your video shows a minor participating in a harmful or dangerous activity, do not post it. In the interest of protecting minors, we may age-restrict videos containing adults participating in activities that have a high risk of injury or death.”
YouTube’s reps are claiming that bump fire stock videos violate the “encourage dangerous… activities that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death.” This is incredibly alarming to YouTube gun channels because nobody knows where the line is drawn when nothing in the videos that have been taken down actually encouraged dangerous activities with an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death unless you think anything demonstrating how to use a legal firearm or accessory falls under the same category.
The warning to not post a video that “shows a minor participating in a harmful or dangerous activity” is also worrisome as that can be interpreted as banning any video in which a minor is using a firearm, no matter how safely.
YouTube provides a free platform for gun content creators to share videos- it’s their house, their rules. However, it looks like that house is coming up with a way to kick out much of the gun content that the most popular channels produce.
Be sure to follow your favorite gun channels on their other social media sites and Patreon campaigns. You can usually find the links you need by going to the channel’s About page or scrolling through the video description of their latest videos. That way, if their channel gets pulled by YouTube, you can keep in touch with them and continue to support their content creation.