Did YouTube Just Stick It to Gun Channels?

   09.01.16

Did YouTube Just Stick It to Gun Channels?

Our staff’s Twitter feeds are in full-blown freak-out mode right now (#YouTubePartyIsOver is the top trending hashtag across all of Twitter as of this writing), because YouTube just announced their new guidelines for what content creators can and cannot sell ads against, and this is a doozy:

Content that is considered “not advertiser-friendly” includes, but is not limited to:

  • Sexually suggestive content, including partial nudity and sexual humor
  • Violence, including display of serious injury and events related to violent extremism
  • Inappropriate language, including harassment, profanity and vulgar language
  • Promotion of drugs and regulated substances, including selling, use and abuse of such items
  • Controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown

If any of the above describes any portion of your video, then the video may not be approved for monetization. If monetization is approved, your video may not be eligible for all available ad formats. YouTube reserves the right to not monetize a video, as well as suspend monetization features on channels that repeatedly submit videos violating our policies.

This appears to mean that most of the grownup-oriented content on YouTube is now going to be ad-free, which means the folks producing this stuff will stop getting paid.

But we can’t imagine they’re going to enforce this strictly, because the above bullet points basically describe most of what’s on TV, and advertisers are still buying TV content. You couldn’t even advertise on the nightly news with those guidelines.

But we do wonder what, if any, impact this will have on firearms-related YouTube channels.

Some gun channels are traffic and revenue powerhouses, even with YouTube’s current restrictions on firearms-related advertising. If the company wants to get hinky about it, they could turn off the money spigot for guys like FPSRussia and DemolitionRanch. Or, our sister site TFB‘s thriving YouTube channel, TFB TV.

So far we haven’t seen any negative impact from this on our own content. YouTube is still letting us monetize gun-related videos. But then again, these guidelines literally just went live this morning, so they may not have gotten around to us yet. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the YouTube firearms scene and we’ll let you know if they start turning off the ads for anything that goes boom.

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