Monday, 16 October, 2017

YouTube Removing 'Bump Stock' Videos Showing How to Make Guns Fire Faster

YouTube has updated its policies about weapons after 58 people died in Las Vegas
Credit
PA YouTube has updated its policies about weapons after 58 people died in Las Vegas Credit PA
Stacy Diaz | 10 October, 2017, 18:57

In the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting, which left 58 dead and more than 400 injured, social media platforms have come under scrutiny for hosting material that could have inspired or aided in violent acts. Until now, such modification videos were allowed on the site.

YouTube has removed video tutorials that teaches how to modify guns, including instructional videos to convert semiautomatic rifles to work almost as fully automatic ones using a device called bump stock. This change was confirmed and there is now apparently an update to the community guidelines of the service.

YouTube's policy on harmful or risky content censors "dangerous or illegal activities include instructional bomb making, choking games, hard drug use, or other acts where serious injury may result".

YouTube has begun to take down video demonstrations showing how viewers can alter firearms using bump stock devices. A search for "bump stock" on the site returns hundreds of thousands of results with titles such as "home made bump fire stock ... for less than $20" and "Upgraded Rifle Efficiency How-to Part 1". And while YouTube's recent ban on certain gun modification videos signals a small step toward better policing its website for risky content, the site is still a hotbed for gun tutorials. A bump stock is a device that uses recoil to slide the firearm back and forth, engaging the trigger each time the weapon kicks forward. While it's hard to completely rid the platform of unsafe content in a snap, waiting until now to update its policy when these types of videos have existed on the platform is a gross oversight.

Semi-automatic weapons are legal to purchase in the US.

"We have long had a policy against harmful and risky content", a rep said.