Sci-tech

YouTube to Ban Videos That Promote Gun Sales

YouTube to Ban Videos That Promote Gun Sales

"YouTube doesn't allow content that encourages or promotes violence or unsafe acts that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death." said a letter from Youtube to Spike's Tactical that the gun manufacturer posted on Facebook. "This is really bad", wrote Full30, a gun video publisher.

However, a Wednesday morning search revealed that there are still scores of videos that teach viewers how to modify their guns, including videos that give step-by-step instructions on how to convert weapons to have "automatic or simulated automatic firing capabilities", which YouTube said it prohibits. "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".

YouTube's decision to tighten restrictions on gun videos comes with heightened tension in the USA gun debate. Banned accessories include, but are not limited to, bump stocks and high capacity magazines. Much like Facebook, YouTube now acts as a virtual public square. The platform is more widely known for its pre-recorded content, while its main competitor Twitch continues to be the platform of choice for most video game streamers. The amassing of the public relations-friendly moves have been seen as a response to the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 students and faculty members dead. Cope said YouTube did not indicate which videos may have violated the company's terms of service.

Following last month's school shooting in Parkland, Florida, videos describing survivors of the attack as "crisis actors" found their way to the top of YouTube's trending list - meaning that the platform's algorithm recommended them.

Google did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.


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