YouTube is shutting down virtually all videos featuring firearms, infuriating many users.
According to YouTube’s updated restrictions, the site no longer allows content that “Intends to sell firearms or certain firearms accessories through direct sales…or links to sites that sell these items.”
The unprecedented decision is a major move against free speech, as there are thousands of gun channels on YouTube who didn’t receive any warning of the upcoming “transition.”
“As much as I appreciate that they are now defining their guidelines much more clear…they have imposed this NEW rule without talking to anyone beforehand and there is no transitional period,” said Jörg Sprave, a YouTuber who produces weapons demo videos.
“Many gun channels must now be afraid, as they might get plenty of strikes in no time for older videos and then lose their channels. They should at least get some time to clean up their videos so the new rules are kept. Again, not the way you treat ‘partners.’”
For example, YouTube has wiped out all the videos of Spike’s Tactical, a firearms company affiliated with Infowars, for “repeated or severe violations of our community guidelines.”
“The Liberal Left will slowly chip away at our freedoms and erode our rights, and the first step is to squelch our voice,” the firearms company said in a statement.
“To say we’re f*cking pissed is an understatement. However we are not backing down from these bitches. SHALL NOT INFRINGE!”
YouTube issued a statement defending its decision.
“We routinely make updates and adjustments to our enforcement guidelines across all of our policies,” a YouTube spokeswoman said. “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.”
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