YouTube Removes More Firearms Channels from Its Partner Program

The headline says it all, doesn't it? Another day, another batch of conservatives demonetized by Google-owned-and-operated YouTube. Twitter is taking sides again, too, but we'll get to that in a moment.

YouTube Partners allows content creators to earn money for the ads YouTube places in front of the videos they created, just like the producers of a network TV show get paid by the ads sold by their networks. But as AmmoLand's John Crump reports, YouTube has cut off even more perfectly legal gun channels from the very ad revenue they create, "even if the creators do not violate YouTube’s terms of service."

There might be a misunderstanding on that last point, however. Apparently any video that might promote the sale of firearms has always been against YouTube's TOS, but they've only just begun enforcing it. Does this mean that any pro-Second Amendment will soon be verboten on the video sharing service? We'll have to wait and see.

YouTuber Honest Outlaw, with a more-than-respectable 217,000+ subscribers, was "fully demonetized" a few days ago. His review of HK P30L -- the same pistol used by Keanu Reeves in the John Wick movies -- has been viewed nearly two million times. Another one (which I just watched!), "10 Things You Don't Know About The 1911 Pistol," has been seen by more than 1.2 million viewers. In other words, Honest Outlaw's homemade content draws a lot of eyeballs to YouTube, so why did they effectively shut him down? Not only did YouTube support fail to provide an answer, Outlaw says they were condescending to him.

Maybe it was because of his super-controversial "Top 7 Guns I Wish I Didn't Buy," or "Top 5 Guns Not Worth the Money," but I doubt it.

Crump's own channel, Black Swan Media, got demonetized, too. He writes:

There weren't even gun reviews or advertisements on my channel. My channel consisted of live streams on Second Amendment issues and interviews with people from the gun world and beyond. There is nothing controversial about my channel unless YouTube considers talking about Second Amendment issues against their terms of service.

Thinking it was a mistake I reached out to YouTube support, but I had a similar experience as the Honest Outlaw. Once I gave the YouTube support agent my channel’s name, they stopped responding to me altogether. I went to Twitter to get answers and started Tweeting directly at YouTube support. They were answering requests from other users within an hour, but after four days they still have not responded to me.

It isn't just cheerful firearms reviews feeling social media's wrath. Lindsay Shepherd, a Canadian free-speech activist, just received a lifetime Twitter ban for engaging in what the service deemed "abusive behavior" against transgender activist Jessica Yaniv. But as Ian Miles Cheong reports for Human Events, Twitter was selective in its outrage:

In a back-and-forth argument between Yaniv and Shepherd this week, the transgender activist hurled misogynistic insults at Shepherd and her infant son, with remarks about Shepherd’s genitalia and uterus.

“I replied that this is something a man who has no functional romantic relationships with women would say, but that, I guess that describes him pretty well. Then, Yaniv mocked a reproductive abnormality I have (a septate uterus), and so I replied saying ‘at least I have a uterus, you fat ugly man.’ I thought, ‘I can’t allow him to make these misogynistic remarks about me and not fight back.’ I deleted the comments I made this morning but found out was suspended in the afternoon,” said Shepherd.

Why was a free-speech advocate banned but a progressive advocate not? To ask the question is to answer it.

CORRECTION: The third paragraph was added after publication, once your author (that's me!) had a better understanding of YouTube's belated enforcement of its own TOS. YouTubers might want to have a lawyer fine-tooth comb the thing, just in case there are other hidden landmines ready to explode without notice.