In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting that left 58 dead and nearly 500 injured, YouTube has banned videos providing gun modification tutorials on their site to prevent people from making weapons deadlier, according to a report in The Telegraph.
The video-sharing site made the move by expanding its existing policy against violence-inciting content. According to the report, it has taken down videos demonstrating how to make weapons fire more rounds using 'bump stock' devices.
The modding technique, which involves the use of a gun's recoil to rapidly activate the trigger, enables a semi-automatic weapon to function like a fully-automatic one.
The method was used by gunman Stephen Paddock to fire hundreds of rounds on a crowd near the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas. In fact, out of the 17 weapons recovered from his hotel room, at least 12 guns were modified using the 'bump stock' devices.
Prior to the change in YouTube's policies, anyone with access to the internet could have watched these videos to modify their guns in the exact same manner. Notably, the method is not currently banned under US federal law.
"We have long had a policy against harmful and dangerous content," a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement. "In the wake of the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, we have taken a closer look at videos that demonstrate how to convert firearms to make them fire more quickly and we've expanded our existing policy to prohibit these videos." The policy change can now be seen in the company's community guidelines.
The latest move from YouTube shows a sign of progress towards better content policing. However, it is just a start. Multiple reports suggest that despite announcing the ban on such content, the site still had tutorials to convert semi-automatic weapons to fully-automatic ones, some with hundreds of thousands of views. The videos are expected to be taken down in the coming days.