While the debate over gun control rages on in the aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre last week, some companies aren't waiting for the rules to change to take action. YouTube, the widely used video streaming app, has decided to ban gun modding tutorials from their site.
According to a YouTube spokesperson, this was an expansion of an existing policy in the wake of the Vegas shooting to prohibit videos that demonstrate "how to convert firearms to make them fire more quickly." The spokesperson said the company has "long had a policy against harmful and dangerous content." That includes videos that are trying to sell or promote firearms, as well as conversion devices and a device called a bump stock.
The issue of bump stocks as taken center stage in the debate for gun control. It has been reported that 12 of the Vegas gunman's riffles were fitted with these devices that turn a semi-automatic weapon into a fully automatic one. The National Rifle Association said recently that it would support a restriction on bump stocks, but that it opposed an outright ban.
While YouTube has revised it's policy and taken efforts to remove the videos in question, a search of the site still nets hundreds of thousands of the videos, although the most recent results do seem to be news reports related to the Vegas shooting.
YouTube reacts when clips are flagged as violating its community guidelines, and its global review team evaluates and removes offending content. To make a dent in the pile of videos it has to remove, YouTube will probably need to rely on its users to proactively flag such media, and that will take time.