YouTube Announces Big Change for Gun Videos

Ban on videos about selling, making guns goes into effect next month
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2018 1:05 PM CDT
This Oct. 21, 2015 file photo shows signage inside the YouTube Space LA offices in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)

(Newser) – InRange TV is removing its collection of gun-related videos from YouTube and heading for the greener pastures of ... a pornography website? “PornHub has a history of being a proactive voice in the online community, as well as operating a resilient and robust video streaming platform," Bloomberg quotes InRange TV as saying in a statement. The move is in response to a new policy on gun-related content announced by YouTube this week. Starting next month, YouTube will ban videos on selling and making guns and accessories, USA Today reports. That includes videos involving direct sales of guns or accessories and those that include links to sites to buy guns. YouTube has been a popular repository for gun-related content. A search for "how to build a gun" turns up 25 million results.

Google, which owns YouTube, says it has been working on the new policy for four months, the New York Times reports. "We routinely make updates and adjustments to our enforcement guidelines," YouTube says in a statement. “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 National Shooting Sports Foundation, which posts videos on YouTube, says the new policy could be unconstitutional. "The exercise of what amounts to censorship, then, can legitimately be viewed as the stifling of commercial free speech, which has constitutional protection," the foundation says in a statement. "Such actions also impinge on the Second Amendment."

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