Google is cracking down on the Second Amendment, AmmoLand suggests in an article about YouTube's decision to demonetize several channels dedicated to guns.
The website, which covers firearms and ammunition, among other topics, noted that YouTube has been making decisions to remove from its ad revenue Partner Program even those channels who have not breached the platform's terms of service.
Sounds familiar? It has been a recurring story these last months, with US and other creators, most often of conservative political persuasion, falling victim to “adpocalypse” – when YouTube removes their ability to monetize their work, without outright banning them from the platform.
More than that – creators don't even know that action to demonetize had been taken against them until they find out when visiting their analytics page. At that point, a message pops up informing them of the removal from the Partner program. And that's the only – and one-time – notification they get, AmmoLand said.
The first to feel the consequences were those from the DIY gunsmith community, the website said, but demonetization has now spread to others.
One of those affected, the Honest Outlaw, shared his experience with YouTube's support, to whom he turned after the platform “took his ability to make a living.”
This creator describes YouTube's support as condescending and unhelpful, as they did not tell him why the action was taken – other than that it violated “some secret term of service of the Partner Program.”
The author of the AmmoLand article, John Crump, said his experience was similar – first came demonetization of his Black Swan Media channel, then YouTube ignoring his question why.
Crump explains that his channel – labeled by the video giant as containing “harmful content” – wasn't even about guns per se – he wasn't selling them, reviewing them, or advertising them.
In fact, the channel was dedicated to the Second Amendment of the US Constitution – which protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms but is also one of the hot-button and divisive issues in US politics.
Crump's channel featured live streams and interviews on the subject.
“There is nothing controversial about my channel unless YouTube considers talking about Second Amendment issues against their terms of service,” Crump writes.
That is yet to be determined – as YouTube's owner, Google, is yet to respond after being asked to comment on the issue. As usual.