Events Warrior Poet Society talks Censorship of the Second Amendment Forrest Cooper July 13, 2020 Join the Conversation You’ve heard us say it. The Second Amendment is Alive and Well. At the same time our access to information and education on firearms ownership is being censored, sort of. Unlike laws that arbitrarily limit what we’re allowed to legally purchase, or a long list of hindering bureaucratic hoops to jump through in order to take up personal responsibility for our own security and defense, this type of censorship isn’t exactly coming from the government. Rather, private companies, within their rights, pick and choose who will be heard, and their choices are contrary to the desires of the American people. In a sense, it is like picking and choosing who has access to the internet. This affects all of us, and especially those who bring us the content we consume, be it information, education, or entertainment. We all suffer when we are cut from the creators. Still, we will not be defeated. In an interview with John Lovell of Warrior Poet society, we talk about the challenges of censorship, how he has overcome it in the past, and how he keeps moving despite the ever changing digital environment. So I’m not supposed to show people how to disassemble and reassemble a gun. If I am doing a live stream and I touch a gun, now they can delete my channel. I’m not allowed to touch a gun or carry it, or transport it, in a live stream, so that’s now out. It’s a death by a thousand cuts.John Lovell Warrior Poet Society began on YouTube, and since then has only grown.Image provided by Warrior Poet Society What is Warrior Poet Society? “WPS is a values-based community that rallies around a common ethic. We live for higher purpose and are ready to sacrifice on defense of others. And so all of our enterprise is pressing in to accomplish that goal.” You as the founder of Warrior Poet Society, what was the mission that you set out to accomplish? “To help create a balanced man that was both lover and fighter, lion and lamb, warrior and poet. I say if you’re really just major on one of them we’re failures as men, perhaps as people. If men are strong and dangerous, also vulnerable, loving and tender that means we’re able to protect the family and actually keep one together too. And so, that type of person can gird up a whole society. That case if our men and women embody that ethos then you have an invulnerable society. Ultimately, or first, our goal is the individual, and with enough individuals we can change the world. That’s what we are, we are a force for good in a dangerous world. We are those sacred protectors. We are an ancient fraternity.” Warrior Poet Society is not a Brick and Mortar business, it is not limited to where you are at. Where does Warrior Poet Society operate? “We are around the world. We have an online presence, multiple websites, we have a streaming service and network, we are across social media. We have blogs and ecommerce where we have a store with hundreds of products that help people get the good stuff to be good protectors and have good every day carry so that they can be prepared. We’re a little bit of everywhere.” You started on social media, and in that realm there’s talk of censorship regularly. It can very quickly become conjecture, where accusations are somewhat vague. Can you give examples of where you have experienced what you call censorship? “YouTube was pretty big for us from the beginning. Your first 1,000 subscribers was very hard, very painstaking, especially now. When we made our first 1,000 subscribers it was before the adpocalypse, before 2017. That’s when YouTube changed its algorithm against or far more against gun channels than it was before. What that meant is that it cut our growth dramatically. It took our monetization away or reduced it to pennies on the dollar. And it made it far harder for younger folks who didn’t already have a big following to get one. The idea was a door closed If you were already through the door, you were big and could get bigger, but if you were a little guy who deserved to get big, it was far harder. We made it through that door on YouTube, we didn’t quite make it through on Instagram, and so we’ve really had to work harder for our followers on Instagram. Whereas if we had joined Instagram a year before we’d be many times larger. While on YouTube we were able to get over 100,000. We were big enough that we could keep growing.” “Since that time we’ve experienced all kinds of things like shadowbanning, things like if we launch something on, for lack of better terms, YouTube’s naughty list, our analytics may spike because people may like it, but then we will be punished on the back end, meaning for the next 2 or 3 weeks our analytics will be in the toilette because we published a video that had to do with masculinity and femininity, and YouTube will not condone traditional values like that. Same thing if there is any mention of Jesus, we’ll immediately take a back-end hit, or they’ll unsubscribe people from our channel, or they won’t notify people when we post videos, or they wont recommend our channel any more. YouTube can decide if we get a billion followers tomorrow, or we get none. We’re very in the know about what our audience wants to hear, we know it, we measure it and see what they want to hear, that’s our principle business. But we also see what YouTube does not want us to talk about.” How does this work? “Algorithms are written with bias, and your algorithm is basically your alter-ego of your programming team. What they deem as important and not important will come out. They’ll still say that it is impartial, yeah right.” YouTube is a huge platform, do you think that there is someone gerrymandering your success, pulling the strings of sorts to make changes to who sees your content? We Found Bulk Ammo In Stock: Ammo from $14.60 creedmoorsports.comAmmo Sale from $6.99 brownells.com Disclosure: These links are affiliate links. Caribou Media Group earns a commission from qualifying purchases. Thank you! “No, no. They’re too big for that, but I think they can make reward and punishment systems. They can passively promote someone of a certain political standing, but if we say we are Christians and this is how you hold an AR-15, we’ll be punished.” You’re not a codewriter, so how do you see this? “In the analytics. I’ve been studying it for years, we have teams who watch it daily, and they see. When there’s a hiccup, we feel it.” You mentioned September 2017, and that you made it through the door, so to speak. “Ask anyone in the gun industry on YouTube, they’ll mention that date. And since then there have been multiple little revisions that keep moving the goal post, that constantly move what are acceptable for community standards. So I’m not supposed to show people how to disassemble and reassemble a gun. If I am doing a live stream and I touch a gun, now they can delete my channel. I’m not allowed to touch a gun or carry it, or transport it, in a live stream, so that’s now out. It’s a death by a thousand cuts.” Describing Warrior Poet Society as a values-based community, how have you lead your team through these obstacles, through the moving of the goal posts? How have you pivoted to not be defeated by the challenges but overcome them? “What we fear is that we’ve built a community, but our platform is not owned by us. What we’ve done is to prevent being separated from our community by building our own brand recognition and websites so that they could find us and we’d be connected, especially in the training world. Finally, we’ve developed our own streaming service so we can own our own content.” In order to combat censorship, we all need to take a knee, face out, and pull security. Image provided by Warrior Poet Society How you can join the fight against censorship Get training with Warrior Poet Society, and follow them across Social Media. YouTube: Warrior Poet Society Instagram: @warriorpoetsociety Try out Warrior Poet Society Network. 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