By Dan Zimmerman via The Truth About Guns
YouTube began starving many gun-related publishers this summer. All gun-related content was initially restricted, requiring each publisher to request a review of each video after seven days. Following the resultant hue and cry, some of the more prominent content creators were excluded from the new censorship regimen.
community censorship guidelines are as clear as tar. Publishers who run afoul of them, are given “strikes” which supposedly expire after three months. The problem: YouTube’s censors can’t or won’t reveal what it is about an individual video that earned the publisher the black mark. Which makes it hard to avoid running afoul of the alleged standards again.
If you manage to accumulate three strikes within a three-month period, you’re done. Banned. Permanently exiled. As James Yeager found out earlier this month.
A couple of YouTube’s most popular gun content creators — the Military Arms Channel and Sootch00 — have recently been issued strikes by YouTube’s star chamber of community standards umpires. We emailed MAC’s Tim Harmsen for more information and he sent the following:
Yes, both myself and Sootch00 have been hit again. I’ve attached a screen shot of the warning we receive when we log into our accounts after a strike has been given. We must “acknowledge” the strike before we can use the site. I assume that means we’re admit wrongdoing in order to regain access to our channel. Crafty!
The video that was targeted this time was about a police trade-in Yugo SKS I bought on the surplus market. This video is no different in content than any of the other 714 videos I currently host on YouTube. If this innocuous video is in violation of their community guidelines, then all of my videos are. So it’s only a matter of time before they kick me completely off the site like they recently did with James Yeager.
Yeager’s offense? He posted a podcast of himself chatting with Ben Mookie. Yeah, pretty objectionable stuff right there.
Here’s the video I received a strike for, but this one is hosted on Vimeo who doesn’t seem to care what you upload.
Let me know what you think. Is that “objectionable”? Did I do or say something offensive? Did I break any laws? Did I cuss? Did I suggest people do something illegal with the rifle? Or was this an educational video about a classic military rifle?
Now, watch this next video on YouTube for a comparison. Ironically, this video, and countless others like it, aren’t considered “questionable” and YouTube claims it’s protected speech. Huh. Penises and condoms = freedom of expression and is creative expression. They even call it “educational”. I call it porn.
Click image above to view video. Warning: NSFW
If I post a video about a historic military rifle being discussed in detail and fired, it isn’t “educational” to the YouTube censors. It’s somehow “objectionable” and potentially dangerous content. No matter how many times I ask what part of my content is specifically objectionable, I get no answer.
I’ve had a total of three strikes given in the last few months, and I’ve successfully lobbied to have them removed. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t.
I’m also hearing they’re on the attack with other channels too. Through the grapevine I’m hearing that even knife channels are being hit now. I don’t watching those channels, but it might be worth looking into for a story.
You might want to look into the PragerU lawsuit. They’re suing on the grounds that YouTube protects and supports leftist viewpoints, but heavily censors and even punishes right leaning viewpoints when discussing the same subject. I think a lot of that suit applies to what’s happening in the firearms community.