Published: Sat, March 24, 2018
Tech | By Constance Martin

YouTube Bans Firearm How-To Videos and Sales, Prompting Backlash

YouTube Bans Firearm How-To Videos and Sales, Prompting Backlash

Fewer than 48 hours after YouTube announced a tightened policy concerning gun-related content on its platform, creators are feeling the effects and scrambling for solutions, no matter how out of the box they may seem. As a result, instructional videos that teach viewers to make or install their own gun accessories could be in violation of YouTube's terms of service.

The new YouTube policies will be enforced starting in April, but at least two video bloggers have already been affected.

"This also includes instructions on how to convert a firearm to automatic or simulated automatic firing capabilities".

Google's decision to invest in a media literacy project comes at an especially interesting and troubling time for YouTube.

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People will no longer be able to watch or post videos that show how to assemble guns and certain gun-related accessories, including bump stocks and high capacity magazines. Companies with streaming services, such as Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc. and YouTube, declined to remove the NRA channel. They fear that "educational content" may now be lumped in with prohibited firearm videos and everything lost together. The video, which racked up 3.6 million views, has since been removed. 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.

Cohen is trying to prove that YouTube is committed to making people pay for music and silence the "noise" about his company's purported harm to the recording industry. Most of those efforts predate Cohen, who joined YouTube in 2016 after about 30 years in the record business, including stints as a road manager for Run-DMC and a senior executive at Warner Music Group.

YouTube didn't respond to request for comment.

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