YouTube is entering the gun control debate with a new ban on videos which demo firearms or link to websites selling firearms or firearm accessories, reported Breitbart.
The move to ban firearm demos coincides with the media platform’s desire to “prohibit videos with instructions on how to assemble firearms.”
The move is a typical knee jerk reaction to left-leaning ideology that favors symbolism over substance.
Ironically, guns built at home have not been part of the mass public attacks that have drawn national attention over the past months and years, but guns acquired at retail via background checks have been.
Bloomberg reports that YouTube issued a statement in coordination with new prohibitions, saying, “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.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) said YouTube’s policy shift is “worrisome.” They fear that “educational content” may now be lumped in with prohibited firearm videos and everything lost together.
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.
If YouTube was truly exercising their “social conscience,” rather than politics, perhaps they should ban all videos dealing with drug abuse too.
A simple query of “cooking methamphetamine,” “injecting heroin,” and “smoking marijuana” (among other search criteria) leads to hundreds of videos that can help someone overdose from drug use. And since more than 60,000 people die annually from a drug overdose, perhaps YouTube could at least honestly admit their predisposed bias!