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EDITORIAL: Removing videos on firearm modifications is a step forward



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A month from now, if you are browsing YouTube for certain videos about guns, about gun manufacturing or about gun demos, you will find these videos no longer exist on YouTube. Do not fret though — you can head over to PornHub to see these videos now

YouTube released an official statement on their YouTube Help Forum through Google on March 19. The statement recommends all content creators with videos about the previously stated topics review their content before the new policy goes into effect. 

In a more detailed statement to USA Today, YouTube stated: "We routinely make updates and adjustments to our enforcement guidelines across all of our policies. While we’ve long prohibited the sale of firearms, we recently notified creators of updates we will be making around content promoting the sale or manufacture of firearms and their accessories, specifically, items like ammunition, gatling triggers and drop-in auto sears."

We, as the Editorial Board, support this tightening of policy regarding gun videos. 

As of right now, if you look up “how to build a gun” on YouTube, there are 25 million results. Of course, there are going to be silly videos about fake guns, rubber band guns and something called the Coca Cola Spy Gun, but there are more concerning videos like “single shot homemade pistol from scrap.” This video has more than 2.9 million views.  It’s a three-minute video about how to put together random items from around the house to create a gun. On the sidebar are several very similar videos. 

Seeing videos like this available to the public is why we are glad that YouTube will be changing their policy.

So where does PornHub come into this? 

Two video makers who run the site InRangeTV on YouTube transferred their videos over to Facebook and PornHub so their viewers may still access them after YouTube removes them. They do not want compensation from PornHub, just a safe harbor to post their videos for their viewers. 

Moving videos about guns to PornHub seems to be a strange, but more palatable solution to the Editorial Board, because we feel PornHub is less accessible than YouTube. A viewer could be watching anything on YouTube and be recommended a video about a gun, whereas if they are all moved, then the viewer has to actively look for these videos. 

Of course, we hope there is a less weird alternative to this problem for content creators who believe their videos are important to their viewers. For now, we appreciate YouTube’s attempt at making a stance on the gun control debate. 

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