YouTube has entered the recent gun control debate going down in the United States with its new announcements to Ban videos which promote or point to a place, site or any store which sells firearms and all kinds of accessories to firearms. In addition to the mentioned new changes Google has also decided to ban all videos on YouTube showing how to assemble-disassemble a handgun or a rifle.
A spokewoman has stated that “While we’ve long prohibited the sale of firearms, we recently notified creators of updates we will be making around content promoting the sale or manufacture of firearms and their accessories.”
The mentioned content policy change will allegedly take place during the next month, April, although some are claiming to be affected by it already, so it is possible that YouTube is currently in the implementation period of the changes.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation stated in its recent response, that “We suspect it will be interpreted to block much more content than the stated goal of firearms and certain accessory sales, […] We see the real potential for the blocking of educational content that serves instructional, skill-building and even safety purposes. 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.”
Some people think that alternative platforms, such as Vimeo, Dailymotion or Pornhub might be the answer to the question of where they could upload their content following the changes in policy on YouTube.
This new stance, more like the direct extension of their old one, shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, since in the last 3 or even 4 years YouTube and Google took a really hard and firm stance on content which: promote firearms, DIY content, question mainstream European immigration policies, takes another look at domestic-and geopolitics or intends to break the two-party system in the U.S. While European institutions (states, the EU and universities) failed in the last 2 decade to destroy the American gun culture it looks like that Google and many Silicon Valley tech companies will also make an effort to do just that in a more firm and blatant way.