Brownell’s YouTube Channel Is Gone but Not for Long
If you even have a passing interest in guns, the name Brownell’s means something to you. They are the Amazon of the firearms world. They appeal to everyone in the firearms world. From hunters to 3-Gunner Brownells has it all. If you need teeny tiny gun parts, then Brownells is your go to. If you need a new AR, then Brownells has you covered. They are massive and host a little YouTube channel where they show the various ins and outs of Brownell’s, product demonstrations, and the like. The channel is rather tame and what you’d expect from a massive company.
From the few videos I’ve watched I’ve never seen any racism, extremism, homophobia, violence, calls for destruction, or anything even remotely offensive. Someone at the big YouTube machine decided it was time to shut them down. Youtube issued zero strikes or warnings; just a whole channel shut down. The channel received zero explanation as to why. If you read through YouTube’s rules for creators what you’ll notice is that the rules are so vague and open-ended YouTube can ban you for anything. This ambiguous nature isn’t a bug, its a feature.
It allows YouTube to wage war against ideas they don’t like. As a private company it’s their right to do so, don’t get me wrong. It just seems supremely scummy to do to a channel without warning or explanation. Luckily, it seemed a lot of people felt the same way.
Brownell’s put out a call for help across Social Media, bashing YouTube in a much more polite way than I would have ever done. They called for their customers and fans to reach out to Google across social media and to Google’s direct line. It worked.
As I was drafting the story regarding the channel being killed, it was resurrected. Brownell’s tweeted then YouTube restored their channel, and their videos and subscribers are all back to normal. Conservative news outlets like National Review, Louder with Crowder, The Hill, and more picked up the story and helped spread the news like wildfire.
I could see why YouTube assumed they could get away with this kind of behavior. The channel is relatively small, with less than 70k subscribers. Those folks at YouTube probably thought there would be very little uproar if a relatively small channel disappeared. Unfortunately, their ignorance about Brownell’s presence in the firearm’s world leads to a storm they didn’t expect.
YouTube can do as they please, but it’s wise to keep tabs on such things. Gun owners and 2A supporters need to flex from time to time to remind companies we aren’t some small group who will be picked on. The real question is will an alternative platform ever really rise? Everyone seems to want one, but YouTube currently controls 99% of the online video on the web so that competition will be fierce. Until then we have to keep our eyes opened and our minds sharp. Don’t take anything laying down.
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