Gunstreamer, UGETube Launch as Alternate Platforms for Gun-Lovers
Many gun-centric content-creators are taking their content off of YouTube to other platforms. Back in March, YouTube introduced new restrictions on videos that feature guns and other weapons. The platform said it would ban videos that “promote or link to websites selling firearms and accessories,” as well as instructional videos on how to assemble firearms.
The policy doesn’t affect videos that demonstrate gun use or discuss gun safety, but either way, many gun enthusiasts were upset, arguing that they were being unfairly discriminated against, and at least one channel started posting content to Pornhub.
Now, however, there are several video-hosting platforms that have popped up to fill the void. One of those platforms is UGEtube. The UGE stands for Utah Gun Exchange, though you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a reference to President Trump. UGEtube says it’s a “freedom enhancing platform” that offers a “safe harbor and guaranteed censorship-free-forever experience.”
UtahGunExchange.com is a site for Utah residents to privately sell guns. Though the platform itself allows for all kinds of content to be uploaded, UGE itself is overtly political, with an anti-gun-control position. The founder and CEO of UGE, Brian Melchior, told Buzzfeed that UGEtube was as much about freedom as monetization.
Gunstreamer.com is another new addition to the gun-video space. Its mission statement is similar to UGEtube, though it says it’s “politically unbiased.” Gunstreamer, like UGE, is also based in Utah. Their founder, Austin Roberts, believes that YouTube’s new rules are not about content, but are politically motivated. Both of these sites may have been beaten to the punch, however, by Full30, which launched back in 2014 as both a video platform and a social network.
Since they’re over three years old, full30.com has been able to build up a sizable backlog of freely-available content. Though none of these sites are exactly setting the world on fire, full30.com has seen a significant increase in traffic since the YouTube policy changes were announced.
The ultimate success of these new platforms will likely depend on how much content gets removed from YouTube. As of now, there’s tons of gun-related content still on the site that doesn’t violate the policy. As long as those YouTube videos are still being monetized, and other platforms like Facebook and Twitter aren’t censoring content, it’s going to be tough for a platform specifically focused on guns to break through.
What do you guys think? Do these sites have a chance to get really popular? Let us know in the comments.
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