Facebook. The social network. A hotbed for gun buying and selling. Still.
That’s correct, even with all sorts of high tech ways to monitor its users, Facebook is still a preferred platform for many gun owners to transfer, buy, sell and trade firearms. I’m sure you’re wondering, How can that be? Didn’t Facebook ban private person-to-person sales earlier this year?
Yes, it did. And anti-gunners gleefully celebrated the decision, suggesting that it was a major victory for the gun-control movement.
“Moms are grateful for Facebook’s leadership today in announcing that they will end all unlicensed gun sales arranged on their platforms,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, following the February announcement.
“Two years ago, our campaign to get Facebook to change how their platforms host firearm sales resulted in nine new policies to curb children’s exposure to guns and to clarify state laws around selling and buying guns online,” continued Watts.
“Our continued relationship with Facebook resulted in today’s even stronger stance, which will prevent dangerous people from getting guns and save American lives,” said Watts.
But, what we’re seeing now is that although Facebook banned gun sales in principle, in practice it’s virtually done nothing to enforce the new rule. Well, that’s not entirely true. It relies on “community policing” to enforce the ban. What does that mean? It means it’s relying on users to report posts that have guns for sale in them.
“We rely on reports from our community of 1.5 billion people to help us enforce our community standards which prohibit any attempts by unauthorized dealers to purchase, sell, or trade firearms on our site,” said a Facebook spokesperson to Forbes. “Any piece of content on Facebook including posts, photos, videos, and messages can be reported. When something is reported to us, our team investigates and removes any content that violates our terms.”