If you’re like us, your YouTube feed is packed full of familiar thumbnails — usually a vlogger at a firing range testing out a new weapon. Dubbed “guntube,” firearm culture has miraculously thrived on the platform, but this could all be going away as YouTube prepares to adopt new regulations for content creators.
Of course, we’re not just talking about videos with men finding creative ways to blow things up (we do love Demolition Ranch). A host of other channels are dedicated to other things the gun owning community is concerned about, including Second Amendment rights. YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, doesn’t recognize the difference. If you celebrate the gun community in any way, YouTube’s censors could have you in their crosshairs.
Now, we’ve seen YouTube crack down on many types of content creators before, and not just gun vlogs. The platform often doesn’t ban content creators outright, but will instead “demonetize” channels that push back against the orthodoxy. In other words, all of the income a content creator would normally generate from the ads that play at the beginning of their videos will be blocked. This is sometimes broken down further into what’s known as “partial demonetization”, where videos have their income cut instead of removed entirely.
Basically, this allows YouTube to continue pushing the facade that it supports freedom of expression, all while behaving in the exact opposite way.
So, where do we go from here? If YouTube is no longer a place where the gun community is welcome, what happens to “guntube” and the culture it helped to create? Well, thankfully, there are alternatives, although it could be a long time before we’re back to where we were before YouTube embraced this subversive form of censorship.
Here’s Guns & Gadgets with more information.