Facebook and Instagram are banning gun sales:
Facebook has decided to ban the private sales of firearms on its social network.
Instagram, Facebook’s photo-sharing platform, is doing the same.
“Over the last two years, more and more people have been using Facebook to discover products and to buy and sell things to one another,” Facebook’s head of product policy said in a statement to The New York Times.
“We are continuing to develop, test and launch new products to make this experience even better for people and are updating our regulated goods policies to reflect this evolution.”
In recent years, Facebook had quietly become a place to buy and sell guns without needing a background check. People could simply message each other to either buy or sell guns; Facebook is clamping down on this practice, specifically, it’s not telling licensed firearm dealers they can’t advertise on Facebook.
The move was announced on Friday. But Facebook had been facing increasing pressure from users, pro-gun control groups, and even the government, to stop the flow of weapons on its site for quite some time before that.
But on January 4, President Obama signed a series of executive orders to make it tougher to buy guns in America. In response to Obama’s executive orders, many people said they would turn to Facebook to advertise, sell, or buy guns in the future. Now it looks like that won’t be happening.
Facebook says it will rely on its 1.6 billion users to report any violations of these new rules — this especially goes for Facebook’s private messaging service Facebook Messenger, since Facebook does not read the content of messages sent on that platform. Facebook already bans the private sales of pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs like marijuana.
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