YouTube apparently began removing videos showing the modification of guns with bump stocks last week, and issuing strikes against channels who hosted the videos.
The Las Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock, apparently modified an assault rifle with the stock, which allowed it to fire like an automatic. Such weapons are illegal in the United States, but bump stocks are not.
A picture of YouTube’s explanatory note to one channel owner was posted on Instagram over the weekend. According to the note, bump stock mod videos violate YouTube’s policy against “content that encourages or promotes violent or dangerous acts that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death.”
A YouTube spokesperson told The Guardian:
In the wake of the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, we have taken a closer look at videos that demonstrate how to convert firearms to make them fire more quickly and we’ve expanded our existing policy to prohibit these videos.
If the response on Reddit is anything to go by, the firearm enthusiast community is not happy about the development. The comments range from dismay at the YouTubers being given strikes for older videos, to pessimistic predictions that YouTube’s bump stock ban will lead to a general ban against firearm videos on the site.
…they’re not going to stop until all content related to firearms has been banned.
It’s almost as though Youtube is a corporation who’s overriding concern has always been, and will always be, to make money.
Are they applying strikes to videos that were uploaded before their policy prohibited bump fire videos? If so, that’s kind of a dick move and people could have multiple strikes before even having knowledge of the change in policy.
We’ve contacted YouTube for comment.