Apopka-based AR-15 manufacturer Spike's Tactical banned from YouTube

click to enlarge Apopka-based AR-15 manufacturer Spike's Tactical banned from YouTube
Photo credit: Xander Peters
With new community guidelines in play, YouTube – a Google-owned company – says enough is enough and is now banning certain types of gun videos.

That’s evident in the video-sharing company’s decision to enact a new policy putting restrictions on videos that promote the sale of firearms and firearm accessories. It’s a better late than never opt-out on YouTube’s part, and to no surprise, Apopka-based gun manufacturer Spike’s Tactical is now banned from the site – and for damn good reason, too.

According to the updated guidelines, the site no longer allows content that “intends to sell firearms or certain firearms accessories through direct sales ... or links to sites that sell these items.” Spike’s Tactical, as well as an array of gun vloggers and manufacturers far and wide, are forever barred from posting more content on the site: "Please be aware that you are prohibited from accessing, possessing or creating any other YouTube accounts." 

YouTube's latest rules change comes in the wake of a series of hard-hitting decisions by major corporations, such as Delta Air Lines and car rental company Hertz, to cut ties with gun manufacturers and the National Rifle Association. The amassing of the public relations-friendly moves have been seen as a response to the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 students and faculty members dead.

Posted on Spike’s Tactical’s Facebook page, a letter from YouTube to the company reads, “YouTube doesn’t allow content that encourages or promotes violence or dangerous acts that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death ... The only depictions of such activities that we may allow need to be educational or documentary in nature and shouldn’t be designed to help or encourage others to imitate them.”

Taking a less than mature approach, in a caption above a screenshot of YouTube's message, Spike's Tactical writes on their Facebook page, “The Liberal Left will slowly chip away at our freedoms and erode our rights, and the first step is to squelch our voice. To say we’re fucking pissed is an understatement. However, we are not backing down from these bitches. SHALL NOT INFRINGE!”

Statements such as the above from Spike's Tactical come as no surprise. Earlier this year, Orlando Weekly had its fair share of run-ins with the gun manufacturing company. On Jan. 7, after Spike's Tactical released their annual joint marketing collaboration with Texas-based apparel company Pipe Hitters Union, which depicted a group of armed men facing off against what was supposed to be "antifa" protesters, OW made sure to point out how "completely insane" the ad was.
click to enlarge Apopka-based AR-15 manufacturer Spike's Tactical banned from YouTube
Photo cred: Xander Peters
Not quite getting enough of the lunacy that comes with the folks at Spike's Tactical, OW then included the company's marketing director, Kit Cope, and general manager, Cole Leleux, as sources in a March 7 cover story on how firearms, like any product, are sold using an emotional appeal to a company's customer-base. (To read the feature, click here.)

"In theory, everything's marketing; we're a business, we're capitalists and profit's a good word," Leleux told OW at the Spike's Tactical headquarters in early February, just days prior to the Parkland tragedy. 

But profit doesn't flow so freely without the right kind of exposure, and YouTube has obviously had enough of being used as a mouthpiece for those who profit off of or fetishize weapons of war. 

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