As an update to yesterday’s post regarding YouTube’s decision to permanently demonetize some smaller gun-related YouTube channels, now it seems YouTube will become the arbiter of what constitutes safe gun handling [from their offices in San Francisco].
We want to help keep people safe both online and offline, so we don’t allow the promotion of weapons-related content that may lead to damage, harm, or injury. For this reason, ads may not be placed on videos that feature modified, 3D-printed or DIY weapons and ammunition, or provide instruction on how to obtain any of these. Videos that facilitate the sale of firearms or their modifications or otherwise provides instruction on how to obtain or build them are no longer monetizable on YouTube.
Furthermore, videos featuring firearm use can only take place in appropriately safe and controlled environments such as shooting ranges in order to monetize. You may not monetize videos depicting improper usage of guns. For more information please visit: https://support.google.
Now, you can remove these if you wishes to run ads on your videos, so we can take another review on your videos.
Hope to hear from you soon.
- How does YouTube determine what usage is improper? Is there someone at YouTube with proper training on safe gun handling who will implement these policies?*
- How will they know when someone is in a “controlled environment” or not, and who has the authority to reach that conclusion?
- Is a shooting range, in fact, safer and more “controlled” than the creator’s private property such that this policy needs to be implemented, to begin with?
- WHAT IS A MODIFIED WEAPON?
- Who do you think you are?
- What gives you right?
A lot of folks have rightly pointed out that I’m not entitled to YouTube ad share revenue. To be clear, the reason that I’m unhappy with the current situation is less about money and more about the suppression of wrongthink. If all it meant was that I got less money from YouTube, that would be fine; I make less than $30/mo from them anyway. But demonetization causes the algorithm to recommend videos dramatically less. That means that YouTube is putting its thumb on the scale of free expression, quieting voices with ideas they don’t like. Whether that is, or should be, legal is a complicated issue, but it is absolutely wrong and counter to American values.