Facebook (FB) recently agreed to delete all posts from users seeking to buy or sell weapons unlawfully or without proper background check. This stand was taken by Facebook under pressure from Moms Demand Action and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, advocacy groups that support gun control laws.
Gun control advocates have accused Facebook for having provided an illegal platform for the buying and selling of guns. They state that there is no definite record regarding the exact number of guns sold via Facebook since everything happens offline. Yet they are sure deals take place.
From now onward, Facebook will limit access to posts promoting the private sale of firearms to users over the age of 18. Posts that offer to sell weapons across state lines without employing a licensed firearms dealer will be strictly forbidden by Facebook. Also posts which call for no background checks will also be disallowed.
In this regard, Facebook seems to follow the footsteps of its competitors Google (GOOG) and eBay (EBAY), which had earlier prohibited all posts related to gun sales. However, Facebook’s new initiative to prevent illegal sales of guns has already been exposed to criticism as the National Rifle Association claims it to be an infringement of the rights of gun sellers.
Facebook is also making changes on Instagram, the photo-sharing network it bought for about $700 million in 2012. If members search the application for sales or promotions related to firearms, they will receive a message reminding them to obey and respect law.
Facebook already has systems in place to remove advertising that is false and deceptive, and it prohibits ads aimed at promoting illegal drugs, tobacco and prescription drugs.
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