We all know that the devil is in the details on terms and conditions for any website, but Google’s termination of Hickok45’s YouTube account is an overreach at best.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the YouTube star, Hickok45, you’re missing out on some of the best shooting demos on the internet. He has a personality that’s matched only by the explosions he shows on his channel, but the fun is tempered with a true understanding of shooting, and of the firearms he demonstrates. He’s been on YouTube since 2007, offering hundreds of videos on everything from older guns of the 1800″s, to modern weapons of the 21st century.
The latest update from the YouTube stars Facebook account reads:
“Apparently, Google + is more sensitive about firearms related postings and such. I never use Google+ and did not even realize the videos were being posted over there, I guess. I will keep you posted via Facebook here and the Hickok45andson channel. I have communicated with YouTube via email this morning, and hopefully, we’ll be able to get the channel back up soon. I had just posted a new video.”
We here at Midsouth post demo videos, as well as sales and giveaway videos. There doesn’t seem to be a way to disconnect your YouTube post from the Google+ platform, when you have a Google Account. Also, why suspend his YouTube account if he’s in violation of the Google+ policies, and not the YouTube Policy. There looks to be a direct correlation between uploads onto YouTube, and the Google+ and Email accounts connected when they force you to create your Google Accounts.
From the Google+ Terms and Conditions:
“If your content promotes regulated goods and services, including alcohol, gambling, pharmaceuticals and unapproved supplements, tobacco, fireworks, weapons, or health/medical devices, you are responsible for applying the appropriate age and geographical restrictions for that content, If we receive a complaint that such content is targeting audiences in violation of applicable laws and regulations, we may remove or restrict the offending content or account.”
As gun control takes center stage for 2016, we have to ask the question: “Are providers, like Google, going to inset themselves further into the political mix when it comes to gun control?”
It’s no secret that when it comes to items within our industry, be it posts about new products, political woes, or demo videos, that these posts will be throttled on venues like Google+ and Facebook. Just showing a “weapon” will keep one from being able to advertise on certain web search sites, much like Google.
Hickok45, we appreciate what you do for our shooting community, and we hope the issue is resolved quickly. We will post updates as they come in.
UPDATE: From Hickok45 Facebook Post 1/6/16
“ALSO: please stay tuned here and at the Hickok45andson channel on YouTube for any information. I cannot answer all the questions, of course, that are flowing in. I’ll just have to keep you updated here as we know anything. Appreciate all the expressions of support. Thanks.”
UPDATE: From Hickok45 Youtube
Looks like his channel is back up, or has been reinstated as of 12:14 PM CDT on 1/6/16. Check it out right here!
UPDATE: Quote from Hickok45
“We’re BACK! It was a long scary morning. I really don’t know what I’d do if I were not able to inflict lame humor upon millions of shooting enthusiasts every week! Life is fragile, especially “virtual” life. smile “