Sometime over the last 24 hours, Google decided that Hickok45 (perhaps the most responsible and respected firearms reviewer/educator on planet earth) was incompatible with their stance on firearms and shut down his YouTube account, reportedly for “repeated violations of Google’s Policies.”
Around 9am this morning, Hickock45 posted the following on his Facebook page:
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.
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.”
The response from Hickok45’s followers was swift and powerful and, as of this writing, his YouTube account seems to have been restored.
It’s no secret that Google has a general anti-gun stance, changing their policy in 2012, blocking all firearms, ammunition, knives, related items from being indexed by the Google Shopping search engine.
We can hope however, that Google’s disabling of Hickok45’s channel was some sort of automated glitch and not a conscious choice to censor one of the most common sense voices in the firearms community.
Hick45’s easy-going approach has made him a breath of fresh air and as good-natured as he is, there’s no doubt he will refrain from lashing out at Google and continue to respond with grace and dignity.
** UPDATE **
As expected, Hickok45 did, indeed, handle the situation with grace and dignity. An update from his Facebook page:
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.”