Unfortunately, censorship of hunting-related content on social media is everywhere—and Safari Club International thinks it’s time for hunters to stand up to this censorship by Big Tech!
Big Tech’s latest censorship attempt is occurring at YouTube, the world’s largest video content media mogul, which has added new guidelines to its “Ad-Friendly Content Guidelines.” New restrictions on any picture/video showing an animal in distress caused by human action will censor content from a hunting channel and limit views.
This move will demonetize hunters, as taking away views will remove any chance of making ad revenue, the only way to make money from YouTube. Furthermore, these new guidelines will limit videos used to educate new hunters on safety and conservation issues.
But SCI is fighting against Big Tech censorship on behalf of hunters across the country. If you haven’t already, now is the time to sign onto SCI’s “Petition to Stand Up to Big Tech” at safariclub.org/hunter-advocacy-action-center/. Hunter voices need to be heard!
Facebook continues to censor hunters, too. Scrolling through your News Feed on Facebook, you’ve no doubt discovered an innocent-looking photo posted from a hunter, guide or outfitter with the photo blurred out–or even removed–and the tag “sensitive content” added to the description.
Or, you may have been in a hunting-focused Facebook or group, only to log on one day to find out the group was deleted and banned by Facebook for violating their “community standards.”
“We’ve heard countless stories from hunters, guides, outfitters, and more, of their accounts being locked or even taken down entirely with little to no warning or justification–potentially impacting their business and livelihoods,” said Laird Hamberlin, CEO of SCI.
He added, “Hunters drive conservation, wildlife management, and sustainable use. We contribute billions to conservation funding, improve critical wildlife habitat, and support local economies. Yet, we are frequently treated like we are the bad guys for participating in a legal, regulated activity that provides immense benefits.”
SCI has been fighting back. For example, after The Hunting Consortium was locked out of their accounts in 2020, SCI sent a letter directly to Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, calling for Facebook and Instagram to immediately halt the deliberate and ongoing censorship of The Hunting Consortium Inc., a well-regarded domestic and international hunting agency, as well as other hunting organizations on their platforms.
FB accused The Hunting Consortium of promoting the poaching of endangered species, which was completely untrue, as SCI pointed out in the letter.
“Based on this reasoning alone as it relates to The Hunting Consortium, it is imperative that Facebook immediately reverse the restrictions placed on The Hunting Consortium’s accounts,” the SCI letter read, “and also educate your content moderators as to the difference between the fully legal hunting expeditions offered by The Hunting Consortium versus criminal poaching and/or animal abuse….Furthermore, conflating illegal poaching with legal hunting is a dangerous tactic that undermines the wildlife conservation benefits brought by legal hunting…”
To make our voices heard, SCI has established the Hunter Advocacy Action Center (HAAC) at safariclub.org/hunter-advocacy-action-center/.
HAAC is a revolutionary software program that enables SCI members and outdoorsmen to impact legislative issues like never before. Through the HAAC, SCI’s Government A?airs sta? connect SCI members directly to elected o?cials at the state and federal level, enabling engagement in public comment submissions and petitions related to issues that directly affect them, such as trophy import bans, expanding hunting access, and second amendment issues.
Through the HAAC, SCI members have made thousands of direct connections with state and federal legislators, ensuring their voice is heard in the political process. And an SCI membership is not required to participate in the Hunter Advocacy Action Center.
Despite all the positives we contribute to wildlife and local communities, Big Tech too often casts us in a negative way or deletes us and our accomplishments from social media. This must end, and SCI is leading the fight!