Over the years, numerous gun channels on YouTube have mentioned their troubles with the internet streaming service. This has been an ongoing problem with YouTube, with numerous reports existing of channels having videos demonetized for ridiculous reasons. By ridiculous, I mean videos and channels supposedly violating the terms of service, but that don’t actually violate the terms of service.
Now, YouTube has a policy where all firearms related content is restricted and demonetized from the start, and can only be approved after a set of human eyeballs at YouTube approves it.
Well, as The Truth About Guns reports, maybe not all firearms related content.
As we reported, YouTube has instituted a new policy for firearms-related content. ALL gun videos are automatically restricted — and thus demonetized and delisted by their search engine– until a YouTube censor views and approves them (a process that can take up to seven days). Well, not all firearms-related content . . .
The NRA’s [ad-free] videos are not restricted (i.e. they’re not removed from view or search when a user switches to restricted mode). This may have to do with the fact that the NRA spends tens of thousands of dollars advertising on YouTube. Or YouTube owner Google’s reluctance to tangle with the 5 million-strong gun rights group.
Also excluded from the automatic firearms-related content delisting process: [ad-free] videos by The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety and [their subsidiary] Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
In other words, entities that hold similar political positions to YouTube’s parent company, Google, get a pass. Funny how that shakes out, isn’t it?
Videos that are listed as “restricted” can’t be seen when restricted mode is turned on.
However, one side of the debate seems to have fewer problems with videos being restricted. Somehow, that just doesn’t seem right, now does it?
Unfortunately, YouTube is kind of the 800 lbs. gorilla when it comes to online video. Yes, you can put videos on Facebook, or Vimeo, but YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, right behind Google. That means it’s still where people go to find information in a video form.
Many people derive income from their YouTube channels, and YouTube’s policy—to say nothing of its uneven application of it—appears to be set up so as to hurt those channels, particularly within the first week a video is up…
…which just happen to be the time period when most people are going to watch.
“But aren’t they hurting themselves by doing that?” some might ask, and it may sound like a fair point. However, a quick look at YouTube’s statistics show that the harm they’re inflicting upon themselves is pretty minimal.
It’s the channels in question that are truly being hurt. It ain’t easy talking about guns regularly. It takes a lot of time and effort. That means people who do it probably rely on channel income in order to keep things rolling. Without that, it’s hard to keep pushing.
That just might be the point, though.