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YouTube — ground zero for cute cat videos and home to some of the world’s most entertaining firearms enthusiasts — made a major announcement on Tuesday: Some of your gun vlogs have to go.
A new update to the Google-owned video platform’s content policy prohibits any video that “intends to sell firearms or certain firearms accessories through direct sale.” Those accessories explicitly include high-capacity magazines or anything that could “enable a firearm to simulate” or “convert a firearm to” automatic fire, from bump stocks to DIY conversion kits.
But the new policy doesn’t just prohibit commercial sales: It flags anything that could be interpreted as instructions on installing or “manufacturing a firearm, ammunition, high capacity magazine, homemade silencers/suppressors… and instructions on how to convert a firearm to automatic or simulated automatic firing capabilities.”
Guns rights advocates were incensed by the sudden change. “We suspect it will be interpreted to block much more content than the stated goal of firearms and certain accessory sales,” the National Shooting Sports Foundation said in a statement. “We see the real potential for the blocking of educational content that serves instructional, skill-building and even safety purposes. Much like Facebook, YouTube now acts as a virtual public square. The exercise of what amounts to censorship, then, can legitimately be viewed as the stifling of commercial free speech.”
But beyond claims of “censorship,” Guns.com reports that the regular gun vloggers in particular — folks who dedicate their time to exploring every engineering and historical facet of a firearm (and their use, an essential educational supplement for those who don’t always have access to formal training) — are worried that the new policy would “effectively shut down all gun pages,” as NFA Review Channel put it in a Facebook post.
They might be right: Spike Tactical had its YouTube page shut down on the same day the policy change was announced, although it’s unclear if it was due to a specific video. But other popular gun blogs like InRange TV have sought safe haven on more alluring video platforms — namely, PornHub:
Oh, you thought I was kidding? Fuck you.Pornhub
“YouTube’s newly released vague and one-sided firearms policy makes it abundantly clear that YouTube cannot be counted upon to be a safe harbor for a wide variety of views and subject matter,” InRange TV said in a statement. “PornHub has a history of being a proactive voice in the online community, as well as operating a resilient and robust video streaming platform.”
Even beyond active content moderation by YouTube, gun vloggers say the new policy won’t just deprive the average American of entertaining (and educational!) content, but effectively cuts video revenue out from under them. Indeed, my own personal favorite, Hickok45, counts a full-auto suppressed M16 among its top videos, with 10 million views. Anyone with at least a passing understanding of digital media knows that the ad dollars from those mega-popular videos help fund other projects.
But most importantly: PornHub has gun videos! Now you can knock out two birds with one, uh, stone.
The Air Force's top general says one of the designers of the ride-sharing app Uber is helping the branch build a new data-sharing network that the Air Force hopes will help service branches work together to detect and destroy targets.
The network, which the Air Force is calling the advanced battle management system (ABMS), would function a bit like the artificial intelligence construct Cortana from Halo, who identifies enemy ships and the nearest assets to destroy them at machine speed, so all the fleshy humans need to do is give a nod of approval before resuming their pipe-smoking.
An F-15 is rocking a WWII paint job to honor a B-17 pilot who gave his life to save a wounded crewman
An F-15C Eagle is sporting a badass World War II-era paint job in honor of a fallen bomber pilot who gave everything to ensure his men survived a deadly battle.
A U.S. E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft crashed on Monday on Afghanistan, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has confirmed.
Beloved basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven other people were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday. Two days earlier, Army Spc. Antonio I. Moore was killed during a vehicle rollover accident while conducting route clearing operations in Syria.
Which one more deserves your grief and mourning? According to Maj. Gen. John R. Evans, commander of the U.S. Army Cadet Command, you only have enough energy for one.
After 70 years, service members are finally filing medical malpractice claims against the US military
Jessica Purcell, a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, was pregnant with her first child when she noticed a swollen lymph node in her left underarm.
Health-care providers at a MacDill Air Force Base clinic told her it was likely an infection or something related to pregnancy hormones. The following year they determined the issue had resolved itself.
It hadn't. A doctor off base found a large mass in her underarm and gave her a shocking diagnosis: stage 2 breast cancer.
Purcell was pregnant again. Her daughter had just turned 1. She was 35. And she had no right to sue for malpractice.
A 1950 Supreme Court ruling known as the Feres doctrine prohibits military members like Purcell from filing a lawsuit against the federal government for any injuries suffered while on active duty. That includes injury in combat, but also rape and medical malpractice, such as missing a cancer diagnosis.
Thanks in part to Tampa lawyer Natalie Khawam, a provision in this year's national defense budget allows those in active duty to file medical malpractice claims against the government for the first time since the Feres case.
With the Department of Defense overseeing the new claims process, the question now is how fairly and timely complaints will be judged. And whether, in the long run, this new move will help growing efforts to overturn the ruling and allow active duty members to sue like everyone else.