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YouTube Joins The Gun Debate



Source: Youtube

While the nation continues to mourn the 10 lives lost in Texas at Santa Fe High School during the most recent school massacre to take place in the U.S., YouTube has joined the on-going, heavily debated conversation on gun control. Over the past several weeks, YouTube has gotten tougher with regards to its policy on gun-related videos.

The world’s leading video platform published new guidelines this past Spring, adding new restrictions to certain content involving weapons. These changes came after YouTube was scrutinized back in March for its former policy regarding what content users can post, as they have not been strict enough.

The new regulations implemented by the site ban videos that show how to assemble a firearm or install certain accessories that give a weapon the ability to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Other rules that stem from these changes include no videos that intend to sell a firearm or any accessories that can modify a firearm into an automatic weapon being allowed, as well as no videos that show how to make a gun, homemade silencer, and ammunition. Gun demonstration and review videos will not be banned.

Mike Sanchez, a frequent YouTube user and the creator and star of TheMikeSanchez YouTube channel which has over 700 subscribers, shared his thoughts on these new restrictions. When asked how he generally felt about YouTube’s decisions, Sanchez stated,

“I completely understand why YouTube is doing this. Because of all of the tragedy going on with guns lately, banning these assembly and sales videos makes sense. I think YouTube doesn’t want to associate with these people who are contributing to making such dangerous weapons at times.”

Sanchez went on to say, “As a YouTuber myself, I understand that this does hurt the creator, but I’m looking at this from both sides.” When asked about how these new guidelines might contribute to the idea that videos involving guns and violence are to blame for why deadly incidents such as the Santa Fe shooting occur, Sanchez said, “I mean, I’d say there’s some truth to that. Videos like these have been so easily accessible for literally anyone. And with these changes, we’re learning how simple it was for anyone with internet access to buy a gun or just look up how to assemble such a thing. I’m not saying these videos and their content make everyone violent, but they can definitely make some people violent.”

When asked about his feelings on the matter, Mert Aktas, a YouTube game commentator for video games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II for his channel, SkoopaGames7HD, had this to say:

“I honestly think these changes are good for kids and other troubled people. But I think these changes also came too late. This should’ve been done years ago.”

As for concerns with the level of creative censorship these new guidelines hold, Aktas stated, “The people who ran these now banned channels just need to find something new and better to do. Something less dangerous to society.”

In a press statement made back in March, a YouTube spokesperson said, “We routinely make updates and adjustments to our enforcement guidelines across all of our policies. 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 ammunition, gating triggers, and drop-in auto sears.”

These new guidelines officially started becoming enforced in early April.

By: Mohamad Hashash

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