While Amazon, Roku, and other platforms successfully fended off pressure from the left to cancel NRATV, it didn’t take long at all for YouTube to cave under that same pressure. This week, the video platform announced that they would no longer allow videos that demonstrated firearms or linked to websites that sold guns or firearm accessories.
“We routinely make updates and adjustments to our enforcement guidelines across all of our policies. 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,” YouTube said in a statement that couldn’t be any more milquetoast or cowardly if that was their express intent.
You know? If you’re taking a stand against the Second Amendment or in favor of strict gun control, just say so. Don’t hide behind this, Oh we’re just making some updates to our “enforcement updates.” Nothing to see here. Please don’t hate us.
Nonetheless, YouTube’s decision to move forward with the new policies have sparked an outcry from Second Amendment defenders, gun owners, and people who simply don’t like the idea of a major video platform suddenly changing the rules as it pertains to acceptable content.
Among the organizations blasting the site is the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which released a statement saying the new policy was “cause for concern.” The ban, said the NSSF, could have the “potential for blocking educational content that serves an instructional and skill-building purpose.”
Another prominent gun channel preemptively decided to take its content elsewhere.
“YouTube’s newly released vague and one-sided firearms policy makes it abundantly clear that YouTube cannot be counted upon to be a safe harbor for a wide variety of views and subject matter,” InRange TV said. “PornHub has a history of being a proactive voice in the online community, as well as operating a resilient and robust video streaming platform.”
It may seem unusual for a streaming channel about firearms to set up shop at a porn site, but when you’re up against the censorship of the left, you have to think outside the box.
As a private company, YouTube has the theoretical right to implement whatever speech codes they want for their site and restrict video content to their heart’s content. But in practice, they must adhere to a doctrine of fairness. They are already being sued by Dennis Prager for violating that fairness and censoring conservative videos that bear much in common – content, subject – with others that have gone unrestricted. The only difference? The point of view.
Will YouTube eventually crack down on videos that show firearms usage and violence in service of a gun control point of view? Highly unlikely. They are thus playing with fire, taking sides in a divisive issue, and planting their flag in the anti-freedom category…whether or not they actually want to admit it.