YouTube has updated its policies on content featuring firearms, leading to the suspension of a large gun manufacturer and forcing popular gun content creators to remove videos from their channels.
“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, specifically, items like ammunition, gatling triggers, and drop-in auto sears,” reads a statement from a YouTube spokesperson.
The list of prohibited content now includes links to sites that sell firearms, videos that teach installation of certain accessories, and videos that teach the entirely legal acts of manufacturing guns and reloading ammunition. Here are the specific guidelines from YouTube:
YouTube prohibits certain kinds of content featuring firearms. Specifically, we don’t allow content that:
- Intends to sell firearms or certain firearms accessories through direct sales (e.g., private sales by individuals) 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 (e.g., bump stocks, gatling triggers, drop-in auto sears, conversion kits), and high capacity magazines (i.e., magazines or belts carrying more than 30 rounds).
- Provides instructions on manufacturing a firearm, ammunition, high capacity magazine, homemade silencers/suppressors, or certain firearms accessories such as those listed above. This also includes instructions on how to convert a firearm to automatic or simulated automatic firing capabilities.
- Shows users how to install the above-mentioned accessories or modifications.
Spike’s Tactical, a Florida-based manufacturer of guns and accessories, posted on their Facebook and Instagram on Tuesday that their YouTube account has been suspended for violating community guidelines.
This is not the first time YouTube has tightened its firearms policies. After the Las Vegas shooting, YouTube ruled that videos instructing how to install bump stocks fell under the category of “harmful and dangerous content.”
“We have long had a policy against harmful and dangerous content,” a YouTube spokesperson told The Telegraph. “In the wake of the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, we have taken a closer look at videos that demonstrate how to convert firearms to make them fire more quickly and we’ve expanded our existing policy to prohibit these videos.”