By 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.
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.