Are YouTube Restrictions Targeted on Conservative and Gun Channels?

By David Codrea

Are YouTube and social media giants Facebook and Twitter discriminating against conservatives and gun owners? And if so, what can be done about it?
David Codrea
David Codrea

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “BREAKING: YouTube gun channels in danger of disappearing forever,” The Firearm Blog reported Thursday. “It appears that all gun related videos on YouTube have been flagged as restricted material. That means that either YouTube’s algorithm or users have flagged them as inappropriate for one reason or another. Once a video is flagged it is no longer eligible for monetization.”

“YouTube gun channels rocked by demonetization,” Guns.com corroborates. “In the latest installment of friction between popular firearm vloggers and the online video-sharing website, many gun channels are reporting that YouTube has greatly reduced their ability to run ads.”

“YouTube’s new ad strategy: Hide and filter conservative channels,” Red Alert Politics elaborates:

YouTube is addressing a corporate boycott: Advertising sponsors are withdrawing ads, but the solution involves disproportionately censoring channels that are not politically correct, specifically anything remotely conservative … In an effort to comply with corporate demands, YouTube has secretly enforced their restricted mode to hide age-inappropriate content, shield comments from all videos, and allow third-party media firms to evaluate which channels and videos should receive ad revenue.

This is all consistent with a report posted March 31 by AmmoLand Shooting Sports News highlighting political and social commentator Paul Joseph Watson’s warning that “Many of your favorite YouTubers could be about to disappear.” As we further explored, the suppression of non-“progressive” ideas is not just limited to YouTube, but also reflects in the corporate practices of the two other members of the social media Big Three.

It should be noted that conservative and gun channels aren't the only ones that have been reported as financially impacted, and that YouTube's “advertiser friendly content guidelines” appear “non-partisan,” albeit arbitrary and subjective:

Content that is considered “not advertiser-friendly” includes, but is not limited to:

  • Sexually suggestive content, including partial nudity and sexual humor
  • Violence, including display of serious injury and events related to violent extremism
  • Inappropriate language, including harassment, profanity and vulgar language
  • Promotion of drugs and regulated substances, including selling, use and abuse of such items
  • Controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown

So the questions become are the rules evenly applied, or can discrimination be shown? And how does that tie in with what is happening with the other social media giants?

Aside from abetting censorship from repressive regimes, Breitbart reports Facebook has introduced the Orwellian-named “Initiative for Civil Courage Online” and other policy directives designed to stifle and even remove “conservative” views by smearing them as “racist,” “xenophobic,” “hateful,” and/or “fake news.” That’s on the heels of Team Zuckerberg banning private gun sales, a policy evidently enforced by an army of “progressive” snitches, with one of their leaders (who declares “It’s time to take everyone’s guns. It’s past time”) showing a  financial tie between his livelihood and George Soros.

Facebook News Dept has been accused of filtering out important news that helps conservatives...
Fakebook News Dept .

And also per Breitbart:

“Twitter has confirmed it is experimenting with graying out the profiles of users it deems are posting ‘sensitive content,’ displaying a warning to others before they can read their tweets.”

What’s the solution? Listen to voices that never use it, and abandon all social media?

You could, but then you’d be squandering resources and opportunities, and ceding the ideological battlespace and information-sharing tools to the antis. Face it, without social media, much of the news, research and rational opinion gun rights advocates need to stay informed would be extremely difficult to learn about, promote and share. It’s not like the establishment press either will cover it or won’t distort what it does “report” on. These online tools are being used to great advantage by our enemies, and turning our noses up suits them just fine.

What about going to other platforms? Without an unlikely mass exodus, that will have no effect on either the Big Three bottom line or on your ability to share information. When I put stuff out on my Facebook page or my Twitter feed, or even my rarely-used YouTube channel, the links can reach thousands.  Other services I’ve tried are lucky to reach dozens.

So what can we do?

The first thing would be to come up with irrefutable documentation that conservative and gun channels are indeed being targeted. A few anecodtal examples won't cut it. And that means someone with the time, resources and inclination would need to establish that such discrimination is undeniable.

Then, one idea I haven’t seen explored (beyond me suggesting it) is to use “the enemy’s” own tactics against him. The small “l” libertarian in me says social media giants are private enterprises, and if we don’t like the way they operate, we should go our separate ways. That does not account for the tremendous influence these corporations have on government actions and policies, which introduces coercive potential into the voluntary associations.

It was the “progressives” who introduced antitrust laws designed to be a check and balance against monopolies, which Facebook, Twitter and Google/YouTube, with unprecedented global influence, arguably approximate. It would be hard to dispute any provable discrimination they exhibit toward conservatives and gun owners wouldn't represent a form of collusion and restraint of trade.

I don’t represent myself to be an attorney competent in that area of the law, so instead offer this as a question from a layman hoping to elicit an analysis from those who are. How — if the allegations are provable — would this not be something the feds would come down on other industries for?

Is that something “we” should want?

Oh, and to the proprietors over at The Firearm Blog? You might want to rethink that “Firearms Not Politics” slogan.  Just because you’re not interested in politics doesn’t mean politics isn’t interested in you.

UPDATE: I can't vouch for any of this but thought I should mention that Brid.TV offers “7 Best Alternatives to YouTube Video Monetization” for your review and consideration.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.

In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

  • 17 thoughts on “Are YouTube Restrictions Targeted on Conservative and Gun Channels?

    1. I see a lot of arguing in the comments, moral of the story is, you cant have a video waving around guns/weapons and expect to run ads and make money off of that content. Thats like placing a kids toy ad next to a fight video. It may not be fair but read some demonetisation essays and you’ll understand why this is how it is.

    2. I do not have an account on Twitter or Facebook, and probably will never have one. That said I am an avid You-Tube watcher, and was considering a channel of my own when I retire. My content would probably be demonetized or outright banned because it would promote sound money and truly free market capitalism. My point here is that Google, You-Tube, Twitter, and Facebook are doing what they want to do. A bunch of SJWs just gave them the excuse to do what is in their hearts already. They all fancy themselves to be Bernie Sanders style socialists. As you look at what is removed and demonetized, it becomes clear that they are aligning their platforms with their personal beliefs as much as they dare. They started out largely without all this censorship because they knew they would not grow and become dominant if they appeared to be censoring videos. Now that they think they are dominant, they think they can control the content without consequences. Success is fleeting. The better idea displaces the bad idea. Just ask Motorola about dominating the cell phone market.

    3. I’d like a list of alternative sites. I’d look at those first, and eventually never go to youboob again.

      1. Recent suppression of speech and the free exchange of information and ideas began under the guise of “Political Correctness”. This is just another type of PC implementation designed for the Internet. Whatever happened to changing the ‘channel’ if you didn’t like the content? I sure miss the days when ‘gay’ meant happy and radio activity meant better FM programming.

    4. David Codrea hit the nail squarely on the head. Approximately 90% of the food brands in your kitchen are controlled by only ten corporations, with interlocking boards of directors, many of whom also sit on the boards of the biggest banks. From there, the good ol’ boy network ties into Amazon, Facebook, Alphabet (Google’s parent corporation), Apple, Microsoft, etc.. Amazon and Google control over 50% of online retail (and Amazon’s biggest web services customer is the CIA). I’ve heard that Congress is at this moment considering a measure that would grant employers the right to demand your entire DNA sequence as a condition of continued employment. I watched employees at the corporate chain grocer (try to find a “local” family owned grocery store today) near me clocking in and out, not with a badge or code, but on a fingerprint scanner, as if they were entering some high security facility. Friends and relatives tell me horror stories of having to wear fitness trackers and alter their private lives if they want to keep their insurance – and their jobs. These corporations and central banks are the visible segment of the deep state. The line between legitimate government and powerful economic interests in the private sector is all but gone, and with it our rights. This is exactly the issue the Sherman Act was written to address, but it isn’t being enforced, and I think the window to correct that lethal negligence is closing.

    5. What do you expect when you left left winger anti-gun, anti-conservative Outside people like Snopes, Fact Check, politi-fact and such liberal left winger progressive groups get their hands on anything?

    6. Hickok45, Iraqveteran8888, MAC and Demolition Ranch seem to be doing just fine. As long as these sites are making money for YT, they aren’t going anywhere. If they do censor them, they will find a new venue, simple as that. There are already sites like Full30 to fill the gap, I’m not concerned.

      1. Whats crazy is they put restrictions on Matt’s other channel Vet Ranch. No guns on that channel, just him cutting the balls off poor helpless animals.

    7. I enjoy reading the articles on weapons of all kinds. YouTube needs to stop CENSORING materials just because a few socialists say they are bad. YouTube should put out a questionare as to the articles they are thinking of banning. Let We the People decide to watch the article or not. YouTube; STOP ACTING LIKE A GUARD DOG.

      1. Well, my first comment on this thread was apparently not to the moderator’s liking (it isn’t visible to me, at any rate). It had to do with the failure to enforce anti trust law, and connected some of the dots between Youtube and the other big corporate players, who are becoming a part of the de facto government. When I look at the list of services on this website (through my security plug ins), I see that Ammoland is a customer of some of those corporations, so the censorship is understandable. However, Ammoland, by burning my comment, has forced me to reevaluate my opinion. It is, after all, a privately owned website. The owner has the right to control the content of said website. So, if Ammoland is censoring posts that discuss issues that make its advertisers and business partners uncomfortable, I guess we really can’t fault Youtube for doing the same thing.

        1. I stand corrected. My first comment has reappeared. Apparently, I’m having some sort of software issue. I use the Opera browser, and have noticed that sometimes not all the comments appear on these threads until I refresh the page, and occasionally not at all, though clearing the browser cache (which would be the usual fix) has no effect. I’ll have to take it up with the webmaster, I suppose.

      2. Fine, thanks for describing the problem. We are already beginning to experience this Lefty attack on civil liberties. Now, more importantly…what is the solution???

        1. If you must know, since many people are experiencing censorship on different fora, there are opportunities to use fora that are not easily censorable, but still allow you to broadcast to standard (censorship-prone) places like youtube, facebook, reddit, and twitter.

          Here are a list of (basically, decentralized, distributed) broadcasting options for you to get your message out, which are highly censorship resistant.

          1) Diaspora. https://podupti.me/?advancedview=true Decentralized social media. Does not rely upon any corporation, and when you post content from your diaspora pod, it goes out to all pods. In the (extremely unlikely) event that your pod’s content were to go down, your content would still appear on all the other pods… and if you had selected the option to echo it out from broadcast depth to more traditional social media channels, it would still be out on facebook, twitter, tumblr, etc. If Facebook and twitter suppress or occasionally ban our information (and we know they do) then you can just link back to and republish the info from the uncensorable source… your original, public diaspora post. Many libtears, many triggerings. NOTE: Diaspora allows its individual users to “ignore” or “hide / mute” other users. The “ignored” user can still see and reshare your public posts, by the way. Your private posts are only shared with the audience you desire, but your public posts can be seen by the entire world and even if removed from one pod will still appear on the other pods (and thus will remain accessible). That is the nature of a federated, decentralized social network.

          2) Zeronet. https://zeronet.io Make your own open, free, and uncensorable website. Uses Bitcoin crypto and BitTorrent network. More details are explained at the Zeronet website.

          3) Bitchute. https://www.bitchute.com/faq Alternative to Youtube, but P2P / uncensorable. Works in Firefox and Chrome.

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