A YouTube crackdown on some gun videos has gun-related bloggers and video producers looking for a safe haven.
The people behind at least one channel have turned to an unconventional solution – PornHub, a video site more commonly associated with sex than firearms. Gun review site InRangeTV, which has 144,000 subscribers, has started posting copies of its videos to PornHub, among others, in case YouTube removes them, according to a Facebook post.
“We will not be seeking any monetization from PornHub and do not know what their monetization policies are, we are merely looking for a safe harbor for our content and for our viewers,” reads the post by Karl Kasarda and Ian McCollum.
YouTube on Monday quietly unveiled a new policy on guns in videos posted to the site. Videos intended to directly sell firearms and some firearm accessories are now banned, as are videos providing instructions on creating or installing homemade firearms, ammunition, high-capacity magazines, silencers and some accessories. The policy also bans videos on converting firearms to automatic or simulated automatic capabilities.
One popular channel, Spike’s Tactical, was taken down for promoting or encouraging violent or dangerous acts, according to a notice reposted to the firearms company’s Facebook page. YouTube later reinstated the page, telling Bloomberg the takedown was a mistake.
The new policies on gun videos are due to go into effect in April, according to YouTube, but InRangeTV opted not to wait to seek other options.
“YouTube’s recent update on their policy towards firearm content is extremely poorly worded and open ended,” Kasarda and McCollum wrote on Facebook. “It is unclear what their goals are directly, as well as what content is (or might be) actually (affected).”
Calling the new policies, as well as past “arbitrary and capricious” decisions by YouTube, an “attack against our legal and responsible content,” Kasarda and McCollum wrote that they are seeking protection from the site’s “persecution.”
“YouTube has the global dominance over the public narrative and it is unacceptable, in our opinion, for them to threaten livelihoods and legal content regardless of whatever current moral panic is in play,” Kasarda and McCollum wrote.
YouTube first began taking down videos on gun modifications following a Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 1 in which a gunman with weapons modified for simulated automatic fire killed 59 people at a country music festival, reported TNW. The newest policy changes come days before the national March for Our Lives on Saturday, inspired by a school shooting in Parkland, Fla.,that killed 17 on Feb. 14.