Posted on July 16, 2019 by John Crump | Ammoland
Google has once again struck out against Second Amendment channels on its YouTube video sharing platform.
The tech giant has set out to demonetize channels dealing with guns even if the creators do not violate YouTube’s terms of service.
A few months ago, channels that feature do it yourself gunsmithing, such as installing a lower parts kit into an AR-15 receiver, started losing the ability to collect advertising revenue through the YouTube Partner Program. Now demonetization has seemed to hit other gun channels.
The YouTube Partner Program allows creators to share the AD revenue from advertisements that appear before and after a video. The amount received varies from creator to creator but can range from a few dollars a month to a substantial amount. Some creators are able to make YouTube into their full-time job.
The Honest Outlaw is one creator that has had his channel wholly demonized without cause by Google. He reached out to YouTube support for help. According to him, the YouTube representative was very condescending. The support team could not give him an answer as to why they took his ability to make a living away but did assure him he violated some secret term of service of the Partner Program.
In a video response, the Honest Outlaw shared his belief that Google will not let him rejoin the YouTube Partner Program. He expressed his frustration at the lack of communication between him and YouTube. He was also upset that the tech giant would not even give him an answer to why they demonized his channel. He isn’t the only gun channel to be hit with demonetization.
One key problem that creators are pointing out is that YouTube is not notifying creators until they check their analytics. A small box appears at the top of the screen stating that their channel is being removed from the YouTube Partner Program. In some cases, it will link to why their channel is being removed from the program and encourages the user to apply again in a month. Once the user clicks off the page the notification is gone and will not show up again. A lot of affected creators will never notice the notification. YouTube is not emailing the end users about their removal from the program.
Even my own YouTube channel, Black Swan Media, has been demonetized by Google. YouTube claimed that I was posting “harmful content” on my channel. Guns were not for sale through my channel. In fact, I did not sell anything.
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.
This move by YouTube comes on the heels of demonization of other channels such as Steven Crowder’s channel. The mass demonization of conservative new sources comes after weeks of pressure by mainstream media sources led by Carlos Maza of Vox (an NBC Universal Company). In Crowder’s case, YouTube verified that he did not violate any terms of service but chose to kick him out of the YouTube Partner Program
Many creators, especially gun channels, are left wondering what they can and can’t do on the video-sharing platform. To this point, YouTube has not laid down clear rules on what gun channels can and can’t do while taking part in the revenue sharing program.
AmmoLand reached out Google for comment, but as of this writing, they have not responded.