YouTube introduces stricter policies on gun videos

YouTube introduces stricter policies on gun videos
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YouTube will begin a new crackdown on videos involving firearms.

This week, the video-streaming platform said it will ban videos that promote websites selling guns and gun accessories including bump stocks — a controversial device that can be attached to semiautomatic rifles to significantly increase rate of fire. It will also ban videos that show how to assemble firearms.

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“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,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement.

YouTube had previously banned videos demonstrating how to use bump stocks in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting amid reports that the gunman allegedly used the device. 

YouTube has a deep repository of gun-related videos on its platform, offering options ranging from gun safety tips to shooting accuracy tutorials.

The company says the new policies will go into effect next month, but gun-proponents have already expressed outrage.

InRange TV, a pro-gun channel, said that it would take its content to PornHub, a pornography website, in protest of the changes.

“YouTube’s newly released vague and one-sided firearms policy makes it abundantly clear that YouTube cannot be counted upon to be a safe harbor for a wide variety of views and subject matter,” InRange TV told Bloomberg. “PornHub has a history of being a proactive voice in the online community, as well as operating a resilient and robust video streaming platform.”

The debate over gun control hit a flashpoint this month following the shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla. Students who experienced the tragedy firsthand have turned social media platforms into ground zero in their fight to push for gun reform.