YouTube’s effort to limit the proliferation of gun videos on its platform has inspired firearms enthusiasts to create gun-friendly video platforms of their own.
Back in March, the world’s largest video site, a division of Alphabet’s Google, said it would ban any content that promotes the sale of guns and gun accessories, or modifications to make them deadlier. It also banned videos about how to make firearms. For guntubers already peeved with YouTube over an April 2017 policy change that restricted and thus demonetized many of their videos, the move was too much. Some simply migrated their videos to more welcoming platforms like PornHub, Patreon, Twitch, or Full30. Others built platforms of their own.
The Utah Gun Exchange, whose 4-year-old YouTube channel has about 2,300 subscribers, launched its gun-friendly video site UGETube in early April with ambitions to attract firearms enthusiasts fleeing YouTube. It’s aggressively recruiting popular guntubers with a commission program and the promise of an “Amazon-type marketplace” where visitors can buy guns and tactical gear. Some of UGETube’s firearms videos are collecting around 20,000 views, with its introductory video topping 400,000. It’s already courting advertisers.