In the latest installment of friction between popular firearm vloggers and the online video-sharing website, many gun channels are reporting that YouTube has greatly reduced their ability to run ads.
In a story by The Firearms Blog, which also runs a YouTube channel labeled TFB TV, all gun-related videos on the site have been flagged as restricted material. TFB argues that demonetizing will drastically affect revenue streams to creators of the free videos, and could lead to some channels vanishing.
“Thanks to the removal of any revenue that creators use to cover costs and even make a living, YouTube gun channels are in danger of disappearing forever,” TFB said.
The news comes just weeks after Motherboard ran an extensive piece that declared the current crop of YouTube-based gun reviewers such as IV8888 and The Military Arms Channel– which have millions of subscribers and some content with tens of millions of views– as the “‘Guns and Ammo’ of the Internet Age.”
However, Guns.com also publishes video content on YouTube, including gun and product reviews, interviews and short documentaries. None of our content has been flagged to the extent characterized by our competition. The few cases where we’ve been accused of violating YouTube agreements have been overturned with a simple letter of appeal.
Some channels took to the web to blast the move by YouTube this week, urging users to try to find them on alternative video sites and support them via subscription content services such as Patreon as insulation against the action.
In Range TV, who regularly post firearms tests on both YouTube and the more firearms-centric but far less trafficked Full30, labeled the effort to strip away ad revenue as “information control via corporate advertising.”
Othais with C&Rsenal, a channel that takes a scholarly and in-depth look at Great War period guns in particular, says in the below video that YouTube monetization only accounted for a small amount of the channel’s very limited income, with the rest stemming from Patreon and other sources. “So that’s it, give us the support if you can, watch us at Full30 if you are getting a little irritated with YouTube, but otherwise guys try not to panic, we got this one under control.”
Article updated April 7, 2017 at 6:32 am EST