YouTube Banning Gun Videos

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The online video-hosting behemoth YouTube is planning to delete all user-posted gun-related “how-to” and sales videos from its website, according to a company announcement quietly made this week.

The new rules are scheduled to go into effect in April. 

According to the company, firearms-related content that will be banned includes videos that purport to “sell firearms or certain firearms accessories through direct sales or links to sites that sell these items.”

“These accessories include but may not be limited to accessories that enable a firearm to simulate automatic fire or convert a firearm to automatic fire,” the company’s announcement states. 

A New Boston Post report published in October, when the Massachusetts Legislature was on the verge of passing a ban on bump-fire stocks and trigger cranks after authorities announced that a gunman in Las Vegas used the devices to maximize casualties during a hotel-based attack, documented the existence of user-created YouTube videos that show how bump-firing techniques can be used with nothing more than a belt-loop and a loose finger:

YouTube, which is owned by Google, has faced mounting pressure from gun control activists over the prevalence of gun-related videos posted to its site. 

The new restrictions invite users to “flag” gun-related videos for removal. 

In a statement provided to Bloomberg Technology, a YouTube spokesman said that the company “routinely makes 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 ban also will crack down on videos that purport to “provide instructions on manufacturing a firearm, high-capacity magazine, homemade silencers/suppressors, or certain firearms accessories.”

“This also includes instructions on how to convert a firearm to automatic or simulated automatic firing capabilities.”

Meanwhile, the Bloomberg report notes that at least one gun-related channel plans to move its content onto a porn website.

The announcement was made by YouTube just days before Saturday’s March For Our Lives rallies begin nationwide, an event organized by gun control advocates following a mass-shooting February 14 at a high school in Parkland, Florida.