Jim Jordan Questions YouTube’s Firearm Content Policy Changes Amid Government Pressure

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) is demanding answers from YouTube about whether its recent changes to firearm content policies were influenced by government officials. Jordan sent a letter on Tuesday to Alphabet, YouTube’s parent company, seeking communications and records related to the company’s interactions with the Executive Branch and other entities concerning the policy change.

This request aligns with a previously issued subpoena for documents, which Jordan emphasizes is “continuing in nature.” Earlier in June, YouTube announced new content restrictions, including a ban on videos showing “how to remove safety devices” from guns and limits on “content showing the use of homemade firearms, automatic firearms, and certain firearm accessories.”

Jordan’s letter highlights concerns that YouTube’s decision may have been swayed by pressure from government officials and third-party groups aiming to suppress Second Amendment-related content. He specifically mentioned a letter from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to YouTube, urging the company to revise its policies to further censor firearms-related content.

Bragg, who recently prosecuted former President Donald Trump on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, expressed his concerns in April about instructional videos on making “ghost guns.” He advocated for the removal of these videos and for preventing their upload. “Ghost guns” are privately assembled firearms that lack serial numbers.

Following YouTube’s policy announcement, Bragg issued a press release suggesting the policy change was a response to his request and thanked YouTube for its cooperation.

Jordan’s inquiry questions whether the Biden administration and other government entities are using their influence to alter YouTube’s content moderation policies. “Given that YouTube has censored First Amendment-protected speech as a result of government agencies’ requests and demands in the past, these revelations raise serious concerns about whether and to what extent the Executive Branch is working with third parties and other intermediaries to coerce and/or collude with YouTube to censor lawful speech regarding the Second Amendment and firearms,” Jordan wrote.

Jordan also pointed out that Bragg hired a former top Department of Justice official to assist in his case against Trump, suggesting a potential link between Bragg and the federal executive branch.

As Jordan continues to investigate, he aims to determine the level of government involvement in YouTube’s decision-making process regarding firearm-related content. This probe underscores the broader issue of potential government influence over content moderation by private companies, particularly when it involves constitutional rights like the Second Amendment.