Tag Archives: Technology

Electric Buses Are Hurting the Oil Industry

  • About 279,000 barrels a day of fuel won’t be needed this year
  • China adds a London-sized electric bus fleet every five weeks

Electric buses were seen as a joke at an industry conference in Belgium seven years ago when the Chinese manufacturer BYD Co. showed an early model.

“Everyone was laughing at BYD for making a toy,” recalled Isbrand Ho, the Shenzhen-based company’s managing director in Europe. “And look now. Everyone has one.”

Suddenly, buses with battery-powered motors are a serious matter with the potential to revolutionize city transport—and add to the forces reshaping the energy industry. With China leading the way, making the traditional smog-belching diesel behemoth run on electricity is starting to eat away at fossil fuel demand.

The numbers are staggering. China had about 99 percent of the 385,000 electric buses on the roads worldwide in 2017, accounting for 17 percent of the country’s entire fleet. Every five weeks, Chinese cities add 9,500 of the zero-emissions transporters—the equivalent of London’s entire working fleet, according Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

All this is starting to make an observable reduction in fuel demand. And because they consume 30 times more fuel than average sized cars, their impact on energy use so far has become much greater than the passenger sedans produced by companies from Tesla Inc. to Toyota Motor Corp.

Keeping It in the Ground

Cumulative global fuel displacement by e-buses and passenger EVs

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

For every 1,000 battery-powered buses on the road, about 500 barrels a day of diesel fuel will be displaced from the market, according to BNEF calculations. This year, the volume of fuel not needed may rise 37 percent to 279,000 barrels a day because of electric transport including cars and light trucks, about as much oil as Greece consumes, according to BNEF. Buses account for about 233,000 barrels of that total.

“This segment is approaching the tipping point,” said Colin McKerracher, head of advanced transport at the London-based research unit of Bloomberg LP. “City governments all over the world are being taken to task over poor urban air quality. This pressure isn’t going away, and electric bus sales are positioned to benefit.”

China is ahead on electrifying its fleet because it has the world’s worst pollution problem. With a growing urban population and galloping energy demand, the nation’s legendary smogs were responsible for 1.6 million extra deaths in 2015, according to non-profit Berkeley Earth.

Putting It Back

Global fuel demand displaced by e-buses

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

A decade ago, Shenzhen was a typical example of a booming Chinese city that had given little thought to the environment. Its smog became so notorious that the government picked it for a pilot program for energy conservation and zero emissions vehicles in 2009. Two years later, the first electric buses rolled off BYD’s production line there. And in December, all of Shenzhen’s 16,359 buses were electric.

BYD had 13 percent of China’s electric bus market in 2016 and put 14,000 of the vehicles on the streets of Shenzhen alone. It’s built 35,000 so far and has capacity to build as many as 15,000 a year, Ho said.

A worker charges an electric bus in Shenzhen.
Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

BYD estimates its buses have logged 17 billion kilometers (10 billion miles) and saved 6.8 billion liters (1.8 billion gallons) of fuel since they started ferrying passengers around the world’s busiest cities. That, according to Ho, adds up to 18 million tons of carbon dioxide pollution avoided, which is about as much as 3.8 million cars produce in each year.

“The first fleet of pure electric buses provided by BYD started operation in Shenzhen in 2011,” Ho said by phone. “Now, almost 10 years later, in other cities the air quality has worsened while—compared with those cities—Shenzhen’s is much better.”

Driving the Revolution

China electric bus sales

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Other cities are taking notice. Paris, London, Mexico City and Los Angeles are among 13 authorities that have committed to only buying zero emissions transport by 2025.

London is slowly transforming its fleet. Currently four routes in the city center serviced by single-decker units are being shifted to electricity. There are plans to make significant investments to the clean its public transport networks, including retrofitting 5,000 old diesel buses in a program to ensure all buses are emission-free by 2037.

A BYD Co. double-decker electric bus at the EV Trend Korea exhibition in Seoul on April 12.
Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

Transport for London, responsible for the city’s transport system, declined to comment for this article because of rules around engaging with the media ahead of May local government elections.

Those goals will have an impact on fuel consumption. London’s network draws about 1.5 million barrels a year of fuel. If the entire fleet goes electric, that may displace 430 barrels a day of diesel for each 1,000 buses going electric, reducing U.K. diesel consumption by about 0.7 percent, according to BNEF.

Ramping Up

Top-10 European electric bus fleets, 2017

Across the U.K. there were 344 electric and plug-in hybrid buses in 2017, and BYD hopes to be picked to supply more. It has partnered with a Scottish bus-maker to provide the batteries for 11 new electric buses that hit the city’s roads in March.

Falkirk-based manufacturer Alexander Dennis Ltd. began making electric buses in 2016 and has quickly become the European market leader with more than 170 vehicles operating in the U.K. alone.

More work is on the horizon, with London’s transport authority planning a tender to electrify its iconic double-decker buses, Ho said.

“The tech is ready,” Ho said. “We are ready, we have our plants in China, and Alexander Dennis in Scotland is geared up for TfL. Once we’re given the word, we are ready to go.”

(Corrects fifth paragraph to clarify total attributable to buses. )

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-23/electric-buses-are-hurting-the-oil-industry

Facebook Scans the Photos and Links You Send on Messenger

  • System aims to detect content that violates standards
  • Company on the defensive about how it handles private data

Facebook Inc. scans the links and images that people send each other on Facebook Messenger, and reads chats when they’re flagged to moderators, making sure the content abides by the company’s rules. If it doesn’t, it gets blocked or taken down.

The company confirmed the practice after an interview published earlier this week with Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg raised questions about Messenger’s practices and privacy. Zuckerberg told Vox’s Ezra Klein a story about receiving a phone call related to ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Facebook had detected people trying to send sensational messages through the Messenger app, he said.

“In that case, our systems detect what’s going on,” Zuckerberg said. “We stop those messages from going through.”

Some people reacted with concern on Twitter: Was Facebook reading messages more generally? Facebook has been under scrutiny in recent weeks over how it handles users’ private data and the revelation struck a nerve. Messenger doesn’t use the data from the scanned messages for advertising, the company said, but the policy may extend beyond what Messenger users expect.

Read more: Zuckerberg’s date with Congress is set

The company told Bloomberg that while Messenger conversations are private, Facebook scans them and uses the same tools to prevent abuse there that it does on the social network more generally. All content must abide by the same "community standards." People can report posts or messages for violating those standards, which would prompt a review by the company’s “community operations” team. Automated tools can also do the work.

“For example, on Messenger, when you send a photo, our automated systems scan it using photo matching technology to detect known child exploitation imagery or when you send a link, we scan it for malware or viruses,” a Facebook Messenger spokeswoman said in a statement. “Facebook designed these automated tools so we can rapidly stop abusive behavior on our platform.”

Messenger used to be part of Facebook’s main service, before it was spun off into a separate application in 2014. Facebook’s other major chat app, WhatsApp, encrypts both ends of its users’ communications, so that not even WhatsApp can see it — a fact that’s made it more secure for users, and more difficult for lawmakers wanting information in investigations. Messenger also has an encrypted option, but users have to turn it on.

The company updated its data policy and proposed new terms of service on Wednesday to clarify that Messenger and Instagram use the same rules as Facebook. “We better explain how we combat abuse and investigate suspicious activity, including by analyzing the content people share,” Facebook said in a blog post.

Facebook is on the defensive after revelations that private information from about 50 million users wound up in the hands of political ad-data firm Cambridge Analytica without their consent. Zuckerberg has agreed to testify before the House next week and is holding a conference call on Wednesday afternoon to discuss changes to Facebook privacy policies. (Follow the call on the TOPLive blog.)

The company is working to make its privacy policies clearer, but still ends up with gaps between what it says users have agreed to, and what users think they actually agreed to.

The Messenger scanning systems “are very similar to those that other internet companies use today,” the company said.

For more on Facebook, check out the   podcast:

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-04/facebook-scans-what-you-send-to-other-people-on-messenger-app

Saudis, SoftBank Plan World’s Largest Solar Project

  • Venture may cost $200 billion, add 100,000 jobs in the kingdom
  • Plan envisions 200GW of solar capacity in Saudi Arabia by 2030

Saudi Arabia and SoftBank Group Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding to build a $200 billion solar power development that’s exponentially larger than any other project.

SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son, known for backing ambitious endeavors with flair, unveiled the project Tuesday in New York at a ceremony with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The powerful heir to the throne of the world’s largest crude exporter is seeking to diversify the economy and wean off a dependence on oil.

The deal is the latest in a number of eye-popping announcements from Saudi Arabia promising to scale up its access to renewables. While the kingdom has for years sought to get a foothold in clean energy, it’s was only in 2017 that ministers moved forward with the first projects, collecting bids for a 300-megawatt plant in October.

At 200 gigawatts, the Softbank project planned for the Saudi desert would be about 100 times larger than the next biggest proposed development and more than double what the global photovoltaic industry supplied last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

“It’s a huge step in human history,” Prince Mohammed said. “It’s bold, risky and we hope we succeed doing that.”

Over The Top

SoftBank-Saudi solar vision dwarfs other planned PV projects

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance; SoftBank

If built, the development would almost triple Saudi Arabia’s electricity generation capacity, which stood at 77 gigawatts in 2016, according to BNEF data. About two thirds of that is generated by natural gas, with the rest coming from oil. Only small-scale solar projects working there now.

Son said he envisions the project, which runs the gamut from power generation to panel and equipment manufacturing, will create as many as 100,000 jobs and shave $40 billion off power costs. The development will reach its maximum capacity by 2030 and may cost close to $1 billion a gigawatt, he said.

“The kingdom has great sunshine, great size of available land and great engineers, great labor, but most importantly, the best and greatest vision,” Son told reporters at a briefing.

Deepening Ties

The agreement deepens SoftBank’s ties with the Saudi Arabia, and advances the crown prince’s ambition to diversify its economy.

“SoftBank seeks investment and Saudi needs energy, so it may make sense to sort the financing out in a large block and then separately hammer out the phases and the technical details,” said Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis at BNEF. “It is worth noting that many of these memorandums of understanding do not result in anything happening. ”

SoftBank was said to be planning to invest as much as $25 billion in Saudi Arabia over the next three to four years. That’s a boost for Prince Mohammed, who’s been at the forefront of the Vision 2030 campaign to diversify the kingdom’s economy away from oil by that year. SoftBank is said to have aimed to deploy as much as $15 billion in a new city called Neom, which the crown prince plans to build on the Red Sea coast.

The Japanese company’s Vision Fund is also said to plan investments of as much as $10 billion in state-controlled Saudi Electricity Co. as part of efforts to diversify the utility into renewables and solar energy.

Vision, Investments

Son, who is known as a savvy investor with a flair for the spotlight, has been promoting clean energy since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and recently completed a 50-megawatt wind power farm in Mongolia. He has also pushed a plan dubbed “Asia Super Grid,” a plan to connect Asian nations by grids and undersea cables to distribute clean energy.

The kingdom’s deal-making has quickened as it pursues Prince Mohammed’s diversification goals. Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, which has more than $224 billion in assets, spent about $54 billion on investments last year. The sale of about a 5 percent stake in oil giant Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is expected to provide more funds.

Saudi Arabia also plans to build at least 16 nuclear reactors over the next 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion. Electricity demand in the country has risen by as much as 9 percent a year since 2000, according to BNEF.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-28/saudi-arabia-softbank-ink-deal-on-200-billion-solar-project

Uber Agrees on Southeast Asian Sale to Grab

Uber Agrees on Southeast Asian Sale to Grab

Updated on

  • Uber is said to announce sale, for a stake of 25% to 30%
  • A deal will mark Uber’s exit from yet another major market

Uber Technologies Inc. has reached an agreement to sell its Southeast Asian ride-hailing business to rival Grab and could announce the deal as early as Monday morning in Singapore, people familiar with the matter said.

The agreement — which includes all of Uber’s operations in Southeast Asia as well as Uber Eats in the region — gives the U.S. company a stake of between 25 percent and 30 percent in the new combined business, the people said, asking not to be identified ahead of an official announcement. The deal, which Bloomberg outlined earlier this month, marks Uber’s operational exit from yet another major market and hands a victory to Grab as it battles local competitor Go-Jek.

SoftBank Group Corp., a major backer of Grab’s and Uber’s as well as China’s Didi Chuxing, has pushed consolidation to improve the profitability of a global ride-hailing business that bleeds billions of dollars a year. New entrants and the strength of second-place regional players such as Lyft Inc. in the U.S. have complicated those efforts.

Representatives for Grab and Uber declined to comment.

Read more: Grab Is Said to be Close to Deal for Uber’s Southeast Asia Business

The deal represents another major retreat from international markets for Uber. Travis Kalanick, its former chief executive officer, sold Uber’s business in China in 2016 in return for a 17.5 percent stake in Chinese ride-hailing leader Didi Chuxing. Then the ride-hailing giant agreed to sell its Russian business to Yandex — just before Dara Khosrowshahi took over as chief executive.

Khosrowshahi has been pushing to clean up the company’s financials in preparation for an initial public offering next year. Pulling out of markets like Southeast Asia would boost profits at a company that has burned through $10.7 billion since its founding nine years ago. Khosrowshahi signaled during a trip through Asia last month that he is committed to key markets such as Japan and India.

Grab CEO Braces for a Fight of Biblical Proportions With Uber

For Grab co-founder and CEO Anthony Tan, the truce would bring to an end a bruising battle for leadership in a Southeast Asian ride-hailing market forecast to reach $20.1 billion by 2025. The companies have been locked in a struggle for control of as many cities as possible across Southeast Asia, home to 620 million people.

Grab, which started out as a taxi-hailing app in Kuala Lumpur in 2012, became the region’s dominant ride-hailing service in past years with $4 billion raised from investors. It was most recently valued at $6 billion, according to CB Insights. Grab, which has more than 86 million mobile app downloads, currently offers services in more than 190 cities across Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-25/uber-is-said-to-reach-agreement-on-southeast-asian-sale-to-grab

Uber Pulls Out of Southeast Asia, Selling Operation to Rival Grab

Uber Pulls Out of Southeast Asia, Selling Operation to Rival Grab

  • Grab to buy ride-sharing, food delivery businesses in region
  • Uber gets 27.5% stake in rival, CEO to join Grab’s board

Uber Technologies Inc. has agreed to sell its Southeast Asian operations to Grab, withdrawing from yet another fast-growing region to end a war of attrition with a fierce local rival.

Under the agreement, Grab will acquire all of Uber’s operations in a region of 620 million people, including food delivery service UberEats. The U.S. ride-hailing behemoth in return gets a 27.5 percent stake in a combined entity and its chief executive officer will join the board of the Singapore-based company. Bloomberg News reported over the weekend that the two companies had finalized a deal.

The cease-fire marks a victory for Grab as well as SoftBank Group Corp., the biggest shareholder in both companies. Masayoshi Son’s firm is pushing to reduce competition in a Southeast Asian ride-hailing market forecast to reach $20.1 billion by 2025. Uber and Grab, together with two other SoftBank-backed ride-hailing firms — India’s Ola and China’s Didi Chuxing — provide about 45 million rides a day, according to SoftBank presentation material in February.

For San Francisco-based Uber, pulling out of running its own business in Southeast Asia cuts back on losses ahead of a planned initial public offering in 2019. But the deal marks the latest retreat by the world’s most valuable startup from a rapidly expanding arena: Uber sold its business in China to Didi in 2016 after a battle in which both burned through cash to court drivers and riders with rich subsidies. Uber negotiated a similar move in Russia last year.

“Today’s acquisition marks the beginning of a new era. The combined business is the leader in platform and cost efficiency in the region,” Grab CEO Anthony Tan said in a statement.

Read more: Uber CEO Targets Profitability by 2022 After Years of Losses

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has been pushing to burnish the financials of a company that’s burned through $10.7 billion since its founding nine years ago. Khosrowshahi signaled during a trip through Asia last month that he’s committed to other key markets such as Japan and India. But its latest exit suggests Uber is more than ever dependent on its home market of North America, not unlike Khosrowshahi’s previous U.S.-centric employer, Expedia Inc.

For Grab’s Tan, the truce brings to an end a bruising battle for leadership in Southeast Asia.

Read more: Grab CEO Braces for a Fight of Biblical Proportions With Uber

Grab, which started out as a taxi-hailing app in Kuala Lumpur in 2012, became the region’s dominant ride-hailing service in past years with $4 billion raised from investors. It was most recently valued at $6 billion, according to CB Insights. Today, with more than 86 million mobile app downloads, it offers a wide range of ride-hailing services in 191 cities across Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-26/uber-cedes-southeast-asia-to-chief-rival-grab-in-latest-pullout

Stocks’ Second-Quarter Start Is the Worst Since the Great Depression

If you feel like the second quarter began badly, you’d be right.

U.S. stocks had their worst April start since 1929, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The S&P 500 index slumped 2.2 percent, a rout exceeded only by its 2.5 percent decline 89 years ago, a prelude to the devastating crash later that year that brought on the Great Depression. (Back then, the index only comprised 90 stocks.)

China’s retaliatory trade tariffs combined with President Donald Trump’s criticism of Amazon.com Inc. to send equities into a tailspin Monday. Shares in the online retailer tumbled, encouraging a sell-off in consumer discretionary and technology stocks. The S&P 500 closed below its 200-day moving average — a key technical support — and volatility climbed.

The stock slide also looked pretty bad when compared to the beginning of other quarters. Equities lost more than on any other quarterly first day since October 2011, when stocks plummeted 2.8 percent, Bloomberg data show.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-02/stocks-second-quarter-start-is-worst-since-great-depression

Are you ready? This is all the data Facebook and Google have on you | Dylan Curran

The harvesting of our personal details goes far beyond what many of us could imagine. So I braced myself and had a look

Want to freak yourself out? Im going to show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it.

Google knows where youve been

Google stores your location (if you have location tracking turned on) every time you turn on your phone. You can see a timeline of where youve been from the very first day you started using Google on your phone.

Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/maps/timeline?

Here is every place I have been in the last 12 months in Ireland. You can see the time of day that I was in the location and how long it took me to get to that location from my previous one.

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A Google map of every place Ive been in Ireland this year. Photograph: Dylan Curran


Google knows everything youve ever searched and deleted

Google stores search history across all your devices. That can mean that, even if you delete your search history and phone history on one device, it may still have data saved from other devices.

Click on this link to see your own data: myactivity.google.com/myactivity

Google has an advertisement profile of you

Google creates an advertisement profile based on your information, including your location, gender, age, hobbies, career, interests, relationship status, possible weight (need to lose 10lb in one day?) and income.

Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/settings/ads/

Google knows all the apps you use

Google stores information on every app and extension you use. They know how often you use them, where you use them, and who you use them to interact with. That means they know who you talk to on Facebook, what countries are you speaking with, what time you go to sleep.

Click on this link to see your own data: security.google.com/settings/secur

Google has all of your YouTube history

Google stores all of your YouTube history, so they probably know whether youre going to be a parent soon, if youre a conservative, if youre a progressive, if youre Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, if youre feeling depressed or suicidal, if youre anorexic

Click on this link to see your own data: youtube.com/feed/history/s

The data Google has on you can fill millions of Word documents

Google offers an option to download all of the data it stores about you. Ive requested to download it and the file is 5.5GB big, which is roughly 3m Word documents.

This link includes your bookmarks, emails, contacts, your Google Drive files, all of the above information, your YouTube videos, the photos youve taken on your phone, the businesses youve bought from, the products youve bought through Google

They also have data from your calendar, your Google hangout sessions, your location history, the music you listen to, the Google books youve purchased, the Google groups youre in, the websites youve created, the phones youve owned, the pages youve shared, how many steps you walk in a day

Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/takeout

Facebook has reams and reams of data on you, too

Facebook offers a similar option to download all your information. Mine was roughly 600MB, which is roughly 400,000 Word documents.

This includes every message youve ever sent or been sent, every file youve ever sent or been sent, all the contacts in your phone, and all the audio messages youve ever sent or been sent.

Click here to see your data: https://www.facebook.com/help/131112897028467

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A snapshot of the data Facebook has saved on me. Photograph: Dylan Curran


Facebook stores everything from your stickers to your login location

Facebook also stores what it thinks you might be interested in based off the things youve liked and what you and your friends talk about (I apparently like the topic girl).

Somewhat pointlessly, they also store all the stickers youve ever sent on Facebook (I have no idea why they do this. Its just a joke at this stage).

They also store every time you log in to Facebook, where you logged in from, what time, and from what device.

And they store all the applications youve ever had connected to your Facebook account, so they can guess Im interested in politics and web and graphic design, that I was single between X and Y period with the installation of Tinder, and I got a HTC phone in November.

(Side note, if you have Windows 10 installed, this is a picture of just the privacy options with 16 different sub-menus, which have all of the options enabled by default when you install Windows 10)

Privacy
Privacy options in Windows 10. Photograph: Dylan Curran


They can access your webcam and microphone

The data they collect includes tracking where you are, what applications you have installed, when you use them, what you use them for, access to your webcam and microphone at any time, your contacts, your emails, your calendar, your call history, the messages you send and receive, the files you download, the games you play, your photos and videos, your music, your search history, your browsing history, even what radio stations you listen to.

Here are some of the different ways Google gets your data

I got the Google Takeout document with all my information, and this is a breakdown of all the different ways they get your information.

My
My Google Takeout document. Photograph: Dylan Curran

Heres the search history document, which has 90,000 different entries, even showing the images I downloaded and the websites I accessed (I showed the Pirate Bay section to show how much damage this information can do).

data
My search history document has 90,000 different entries. Photograph: Dylan Curran


Google knows which events you attended, and when

Heres my Google Calendar broken down, showing all the events Ive ever added, whether I actually attended them, and what time I attended them at (this part is when I went for an interview for a marketing job, and what time I arrived).

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Here is my Google calendar showing a job interview I attended. Photograph: Dylan Curran


And Google has information you deleted

This is my Google Drive, which includes files I explicitly deleted including my rsum, my monthly budget, and all the code, files and websites Ive ever made, and even my PGP private key, which I deleted, that I use to encrypt emails.

data

Google can know your workout routine

This is my Google Fit, which shows all of the steps Ive ever taken, any time I walked anywhere, and all the times Ive recorded any meditation/yoga/workouts Ive done (I deleted this information and revoked Google Fits permissions).

data

And they have years worth of photos

This is all the photos ever taken with my phone, broken down by year, and includes metadata of when and where I took the photos

data

Google has every email you ever sent

Every email Ive ever sent, thats been sent to me, including the ones I deleted or were categorised as spam.

data

And there is more

Ill just do a short summary of whats in the thousands of files I received under my Google Activity.

First, every Google Ad Ive ever viewed or clicked on, every app Ive ever launched or used and when I did it, every website Ive ever visited and what time I did it at, and every app Ive ever installed or searched for.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/28/all-the-data-facebook-google-has-on-you-privacy

YouTube Bans Firearms Demo Videos, Entering the Gun Control Debate

  • Google’s new policy prohibits promotion of guns, bump stocks
  • At least one video gun blogger ditched YouTube for PornHub

YouTube, a popular media site for firearms enthusiasts, this week quietly introduced tighter restrictions on videos involving weapons, becoming the latest battleground in the U.S. gun-control debate.

YouTube will ban videos that promote or link to websites selling firearms and accessories, including bump stocks, which allow a semi-automatic rifle to fire faster. Additionally, YouTube said it will prohibit videos with instructions on how to assemble firearms. The video site, owned by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, has faced intense criticism for hosting videos about guns, bombs and other deadly weapons.

For many gun-rights supporters, YouTube has been a haven. A current search on the site for “how to build a gun” yields 25 million results, though that includes items such as toys. At least one producer of gun videos saw its page suspended on Tuesday. Another channel opted to move its videos to an adult-content site, saying that will offer more freedom than YouTube.

Read more: Reddit Wades Into the Gun Control Debate

“We routinely make updates and adjustments to our enforcement guidelines across all of our policies,” a YouTube spokeswoman said in a statement. “While we’ve long prohibited the sale of firearms, we recently notified creators of updates we will be making around content promoting the sale or manufacture of firearms and their accessories.” 

YouTube has placed greater restrictions on content several times in the past year, responding to a series of issues with inappropriate and offensive videos. Most of those changes involved pulling ads from categories of videos. Google is more reluctant to remove entire videos from YouTube, but has been willing to do so with terrorism-related content.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, a gun industry lobbying group, called YouTube’s new policy “worrisome.”

“We suspect it will be interpreted to block much more content than the stated goal of firearms and certain accessory sales,” the foundation said in a statement. “We see the real potential for the blocking of educational content that serves instructional, skill-building and even safety purposes. Much like Facebook, YouTube now acts as a virtual public square. The exercise of what amounts to censorship, then, can legitimately be viewed as the stifling of commercial free speech.”

The firearms decision comes days before Saturday’s March For Our Lives, a rally organized by survivors of the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead.

See also: QuickTake on the gun-control debate

The new YouTube policies will be enforced starting in April, but at least two video bloggers have already been affected. Spike’s Tactical, a firearms company, said in a post on Facebook that it was suspended from YouTube due to “repeated or severe violations” of the video platform’s guidelines.

“Well, since we’ve melted some snowflakes on YouTube and got banned, might as well set IG and FB on fire!,” Spike’s wrote on Facebook, where it has over 111,000 followers, referring to the social network and its Instagram app. A YouTube spokeswoman said the channel has been reinstated after it was mistakenly removed.

InRange TV, another channel devoted to firearms, wrote on its Facebook page that it would begin uploading videos to PornHub, an adult content website.  

Read more: Citigroup Restricts Some Gun Sales by Its Business Customers

“YouTube’s newly released released vague and one-sided firearms policy makes it abundantly clear that YouTube cannot be counted upon to be a safe harbor for a wide variety of views and subject matter,” InRange TV wrote. “PornHub has a history of being a proactive voice in the online community, as well as operating a resilient and robust video streaming platform.” PornHub didn’t immediately return a request for comment on the matter. 

Last month, gun control activists escalated the pressure on tech giants for giving a platform to the National Rifle Association. A flurry of businesses cut ties with the pro-gun group after the deadly Parkland school shooting. Companies with streaming services, such as Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc. and YouTube, declined to remove the NRA channel.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-21/youtube-bans-firearm-sales-and-how-to-videos-prompting-backlash