Everytown, Moms Demand Action Renew Call for Company to Strengthen Enforcement of Community Guidelines That Prohibit This Content
Earlier This Month, Everytown Letter Identified Dozens of Videos Showing How To Make Ghost Guns, In Clear Violation of YouTube Policies
NEW YORK – Following a letter from Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund (Everytown), YouTube has removed nine videos showing users how to make ghost guns using prefabricated 80-percent-finished kits, Everytown announced today. The videos had been viewed more than 3.4 million times collectively.
The removal of these videos comes after Everytown sent YouTube a letter last week urging the company to take action on these videos, writing that the videos were in violation of YouTube’s community guidelines which prohibit providing instructions on manufacturing firearms. Everytown’s letter urged YouTube to not only remove these specific videos, but to strengthen enforcement of its community guidelines that prohibit this content. While YouTube has relatively strong guidelines on the issue, the company’s moderation and removal practices clearly do not match these guidelines. Everytown has offered its support and expertise in keeping the platform safe from ghost guns.
“It just got a little bit harder for criminals and extremists to learn how to put together untraceable ghost guns,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Now we call on YouTube to build on this momentum, and back up their strong guidelines around ghost gun videos with equally strong moderation and removal practices.”
“Untraceable ghost guns that can be bought without background checks are fueling gun violence across the country and must be addressed,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Removing these videos that provided step-by-step guides on how to make these at home is an important first step, but now YouTube must take action to prevent similar videos from being posted going forward.”
While YouTube removed several prominent videos showing users how to make ghost guns using prefabricated 80-percent-finished kits, the company has yet to act on content providing instructions to users on how to 3D print components for guns. In its letter to YouTube, Everytown flagged five such 3D printing videos – collectively viewed over 2 million times.
The rise of ghost guns is one the fastest-growing gun safety threats in recent years. In May, President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice, through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), issued a proposed rule to stop the proliferation of deadly, untraceable ghost guns –– a move that Everytown first called for from the Biden Administration in December 2020. The proposed rule will strengthen the regulation over frames, receivers, and ghost gun “kits”, therefore requiring that the core parts for ghost guns be sold with a serial number and a background check.