The open fire incident that took place at YouTube headquarters in California on April 3 shook the tech world. In addition, it raised concerns over increasing rampant shooting incidents and gun control policy reformation. Another mass shooting took place in February at school in Florida, in which 17 innocent victims had to lose their lives. Though open firing at YouTube headquarters did not kill anyone and the female shooter killed herself, there are concerns regarding safety and application of policies on firearms in the U.S. The lack of reaction from the Trump administration about controlling distribution of gun despite lethal attacks has been criticized all over the U.S. American citizens have been demanding more than just sympathy and prayers from President Trump. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey outlined in his tweet that citizens cannot just hope and pray that it will not happen again. It is necessary to evolve policies. He also admitted that the issue is big and policy reforms will not alone solve the problem entirely, however, it will give a good start.
Apart from gun control policy reforms, YouTube has decided to take a step toward solving the problem of reckless usage of guns. The video sharing platform released new guidelines that ban videos regarding instructions to assemble firearm, install certain accessories, and others. The new regulations were first reported by Bloomberg. These new regulations came into practice on the backdrop of recent open firing incident in its headquarters and criticism for lenient policies about content users can post. However, the company decided not to ban gun demonstration videos.
YouTube spokesperson, in a statement, said, “We routinely make updates and adjustments to our enforcement guidelines across all of our policies. While we’ve long prohibited the sale of firearms, we recently notified creators of updates we will be making around content promoting the sale or manufacture of firearms and their accessories, specifically, items like ammunition, gatling triggers, and drop-in auto sears.”
According to new regulations, videos involving sales of firearms or accessories that can transform firearms into automatic weapons will not be allowed on YouTube. Videos containing instructions to manufacture gun, ammunition, homemade silencer, high-capacity magazine, and other accessories will be blocked and restricted from posting. The company banned the sales of firearms on its platform. It has been gradually increasing restrictions on gun videos on its platform.
Though the video sharing platform has restricted certain videos from its platform, the question remains whether it will successfully stop incidents such rampant and open firing incidents. It is obvious more work is required along with the support from the government. The policy reformation about gun control is necessary. Restrictions should be put on use and sale of firearms. Moreover, government should provide necessary encouragement and support to gun violence research programs. As it is very easy to purchase firearms in the U.S., there should be restrictions on private sale. Moreover, high-powered ammunition should be restricted to military needs only. Moreover, the root causes behind what leads people to take such lethal steps should be found out and necessary precautions should be taken to prevent such behavior. There is a need for a collective effort from public and government to prevent these incidents in future.