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Facebook is removing any and all pages that promote or enable private firearms sales — regardless of the legality of those sales. Zuckerberg’s minions have extended that ban to firearms dealers. We hope this is an oversight; these dealers submit all purchasers to a federal background check, either at their location or via another federal firearms licensee. And that was the point of the original ban: to engender “universal background checks” by eliminating pages where gun sales might forgo the process. The question is . . .

will Facebook extend the ban further to any and all pages that “promote” firearms sales by their very nature? That’s a serious prospect; a move that would mark a fundamental turning point for Facebook, The People of the Gun and free speech.

In terms of free speech, we must remember that Facebook is a private enterprise. The First Amendment — like the Second — only protects citizens from government infringement on their natural right to speak freely. Just as TTAG is within its rights to delete comments the editors consider offensive, Facebook is within its rights to delete pages.

In terms of Facebook, if they decide to remove entire categories of pages — be it firearms, marijuana or Islam — they will seal their fate. Sure, Facebook’s success depends largely on people sharing the sublime and ridiculous aspects of their life. Cat videos rock! Baby pictures are awesome! Facebook is a fantastic way to keep in touch with people you care about. But the lifeblood of any “social” media is inclusivity, not exclusivity.

If Mark Zuckerberg pursues political correctness, political correctness will pursue Mark Zuckerberg. The more he heads down the road of censorship the more pressure he’ll feel to put the deletion pedal to the metal. The lonelier that road will become. Deleting pages based on Zuckerberg’s idea of social utility will rob Facebook of something critical to its survival: credibility.

Or not. As I said above, cat videos and baby pictures rock! As for The People of the Gun, a Facebook firearm purge would only make us stronger. Not us, per se. And not in the short term. Facebook generates more than 10 percent of TTAG’s daily traffic; we’d feel the effects in our bottom line. I mean us as in those of us who love our guns and our firearms freedom.

Just as ethnic enclaves create a strong sense of community, a populous non-Facebook firearms-friendly social media site (or some such thing) would make The People of the Gun more cohesive and powerful. Such things exist now, but they live off the crumbs that fall from Facebook’s table (as well as YouTube). Facebook’s firearms pages must die for a non-Facebook firearms space to thrive.

I hope Facebook rescinds its ban on gun dealers’ pages. I hope Facebook doesn’t ban gun-related pages like TTAG. I like being in a wider community; it increases the odds of “converting” firearms fence straddlers. But make no mistake, if Facebook kills TTAG’s page, we will not only survive, we will thrive. I don’t know how, exactly, but there’s no doubt in my mind that we will. And that’s the truth.

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86 Responses to Housekeeping: TTAG and Facebook

        • “On that note, how many of you have had Angel’s Envy?”

          On that note, have you tried Beam’s ‘Devil’s Share’?

          After the barrels are dumped they pull a vacuum in them to suck out the bourbon soaked in the barrel’s wood…

        • Discovered Angel’s Envy in a Chattanooga bar doing a sampler rack. Didn’t know which was which but I had to ask for sure after tasting that one. Though at $47 a fifth I don’t know how often I will be tasting it.

        • I have a bottle of Angel’s Envy at home, it’s pretty good stuff. If you feel like splurging on a really good bourbon, track down a bottle of Blanton’s. I don’t drink it often, it ain’t cheap, but it’s the best damn bourbon I’ve ever tasted. Buffalo Trace is pretty good too.

        • I’ve considered it many times, maybe next time I plan to splurge on a bottle, its just a bit north of my usual $30/cap per bottle for casual consumption… Oh actually, taking the wife out to steakhouse for Valentines this weekend, will see if they have it, we usually do whiskey for dessert instead of sweets! Love that girl! 🙂

        • I’ve had, and while I consider good, it did not blow me away.

          Blanton’s remains the go to for me.

      • KY has horse farms and whiskey production. I always enjoy my trips there to visit family. And friendly people. And country cooking. And good fishing. And pretty women.

  1. I get all your emails so if FB dumps you I will still remain a faithful reader. No biggie. Personally I would like to see Zuckerberg reduced to abject poverty. That would be delicious irony.

    • That would have happened over time except almost every app runs through Facebook now. Until someone can take that market from them they will remain. I frankly hate Facebook, but I like certain apps that run through it.

  2. I had the very idea of a social media site for the gun community earlier today. If I had the slightest idea of how to execute such a project, I sure the hell would start working on it.

  3. If this is the way they treat us, I’d say good riddance, we all can survive without it. Facebook’s demise would honestly be the best thing for society (i know it’s not going anywhere). Imagine a world where we pick up the phone and talk to friends and family. Or talk to someone face to face. I said goodbye to facebook 6yrs ago and my life is better. I’d like to see my favorite website, TTAG, give FB the finger.

        • Life without Assface? Oh the horror. How will people survive? Am I the only person between the ages of 15 and 60 that has never been on Assface? Like Michael said, pick up the phone and call somebody if you want to be in their lives. Do you really need to know what Johnny Dumbass is doing with his life when you never had anything to do with him in the first place?

      • Nooo.. typing is a thing of the past. You just hit the microphone button and talk at the text-string-communicator device and it transcribes your words into a text message and you can communicate, almost like instant ! Imagine if you could actually use these pocket computers to speak directly to another person without a delay, that would be revolutionary!

  4. If FB bans all things firearms, I will be done with them. Before I go I will make a lengthy post explaining my departure which will expound on the dangers inherent in the limitation of free expression, whether the forum for such expression be public or private.

    • That’s what I’m talking about. I’m not on it but my understanding is it’s for adults who desperately need attention.

    • I’ll be honest, I have one and without it I would not be nearly as close to the gentleman I had the pleasure of serving with.

    • I’ll tell you why. Because I can, in a few mouse clicks, keep up with friends and family across the country, and over oceans. Because I’ve been able to connect with former squadron mates that I’ve lost track of over the span of 25 years. Because of TTAG, and other groups that I enjoy reading. Yeah, I don’t need to post selfies of my bath-time, or my latest lipstick color. But I do enjoy reading about the latest exploits of my niece and her 2 year-old on the other coast, or my nephew on deployment in Korea. It’s not all about the Kardashian’s.

      • You don’t need FB for any of that. Is it really easier than email or a phone call?

        Is it as personal as a hand-written letter to those people you want to stay in touch with?

        Remember that with stuff like FB, if it seems free, YOU are the product. The cost of all the “convenience” you claim is so necessary is steeper than most folks realize.

        • It wasn’t easier until FB started deliberating over what content you got and people started sharing more than just status updates.

    • I’m 69. I use it to keep in touch with my brothers, sisters. children, grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews and most of my HS classmates who are still living. Is that reason enough?

  5. But make no mistake, if Facebook kills TTAG’s page, we will not only survive, we will thrive. I don’t know how

    You’re a smart guy. You’ll figure it out. Now would be a good time to start to develop your exit strategy from Fakebook.

    • No kidding; talk about a shot across the bow. Tin foil crazies have been saying FB/etc were going to start acting as ‘Master Switches’ for State interests as their bloated organizations become more ossified, codependent on government influence for their operation, and unable to compete fairly in the marketplace. Just as Standard Oil and the media got a lot of friends in high places prior to their downfall, so will Facebook. It’ll be interesting to see where the first war they start is (assuming the Iran/Arab Spring uprisings weren’t, which is somewhat debatable)

  6. As the biggest baddest gun site on the net, you should contact FB execs. to educate them, obviously, they are morons for banning gun dealers since everyone knows those go through a background check (but rich morons who got lucky with this social media craze).

  7. Facebook, described in its early days as “the computer embodiment of the mind of the teenage girl.” I believe this was in, of all things, Wired Magazine, but I may be mistaken on the source and the exactness of the quote. Nonetheless, a profoundly true statement.

  8. I only have a facebook page just for work, which i havent logged in since 2yr ago.
    But anyway, yeah, Team TTAG, get the social media website up and running.
    Get all the big name gun companies and dealers to join and let it become a facebook with gunbroker plugged in. Make it the central media outlet for all things gun related.
    Call it, um, gunbook. Well thats a lame name

  9. The solution is to write your congress critter and demand pressure on Facebook. Demand anti trust legislation, or anything else they can do to promote free “interstate commerce” blocked by a monopoly.

    Make no mistake, Facebook is a monopoly, and Obama will not be in office forever.

    • Good luck with that.
      Anti-trust lawsuits revolve around price-fixing, predatory pricing, other unfair business practices that prevent other players from entering the market. Just being the only company doing what you do is not enough. And they aren’t the only company doing what they do.

      • Let expensive Facebook lawyers make that case in front of Congress. The reality is that if Congress is sufficiently motivated, it can make life hell for Facebook and scrutinize every nook and cranny of their business. They can pass laws that will take years to snake through the courts. Make them regret having feckless senators like Feinswine and Boxer. They could pass a “preservation of interstate commerce” act which would make it a crime for Facebook to discourage legal and constitutionally protected commerce. They could take a page from the 1960s and appoint the FCC to ensure “equal access” to Facebook facilities.

        Regardless of how… Gun rights people need to show we can punch back three times harder, with any means available.

      • Exactly, Facebook is one format of social media. Don’t initiate this type of government interference that could easily be used as a precedent to later be thrown back in our faces.

    • I think we need to go the civil rights violation route. I understand that Facebook is a privately owned entity and can ban whomever they please, however, Woolworth’s was a private business when they refused to serve blacks and you see how that turned out. The double standard has to end. What if Facebook banned blacks? What if a Christian baker refused to cater a gay wedding? See what I mean?

      • Exactly: Woolworth cannot discriminate because some things are constitutionally protected. Time for a a “preservation of interstate commerce” act which would make it a crime for Facebook to discourage legal and constitutionally protected commerce.

        The mere thought that Congress would get involved would scare the crap out of them.

      • Don’t ever think that adding another layer of government interference in things that don’t matter will be good thing when they finally get to interfering in something that you think they shouldn’t then you no longer have a leg to stand on. I don’t want every segment of society thinking they can use congress as their personal cudgel.
        Facebook wont lend you their megaphone, walk away.

      • ” I understand that Facebook is a privately owned entity and can ban whomever they please”

        Yes they are a private business, but we do know that Zuckerburg is a true believer in the progressive cause. However, how much of this social justice engineering is done in collusion with the state? “Look Zuck, do ABC tack for us and we will make sure that XYZ is done on your behalf.”

        Obviously we don’t know the answer to that – but the point is valid, private as they may be, they are working towards the interests of the state, perhaps under compulsion, perhaps simply as a willing participant (more likely I think).

        The line between state and private does become blurred in these cases. Look at the Democrat party – on the face they are not part of the state, but functionally they are all but another branch of our federal government. Same thing with the media, they are effectively the PR arm of the Democrat party.

        It’s an effective way for the state to hide behind this separation of state and private enterprise, avoiding large numbers of regulations; open communication rules, equal treatment rules, accountability rules….

        Unfortunate, but the statist plays this game well and uses every advantage offered to them. And fighting against this is all but impossible.

    • Run to Uncle Sugar for help? You’ve got to be kidding. Not only is he behind this crap in the first place, where do you get off thinking the feds should be telling a company what can be posted on their message board? Sorry, but unless and until the IRS starts requiring a FB account to file our taxes, we have no business directing their affairs.

      Let them go out of business or thrive on this decision; don’t pretend we can ‘fix’ their bullshit by force of the federal government. That kind of thinking is what gets gun companies/dealers sued out of existence for lawful commerce.

    • There are very few problems where the correct and most effective solution is to involve the government. Facebook being pissy to gun dealers isn’t one of those.

  10. And the point of facebook is??? Glutens for punishment?? Its not a place to share ideas. Its a place to get astroturfed for your ideas.

    • My sister is gluten free and it seems like self-imposed punishment to me.

      I, on the other hand, can be a bit of a glutton from time to time. Hence my “Worldly Figure”… I’m shaped like a globe, y’see.

  11. Do whatever your hearts desire is RF. I rarely look at your FB page. Posting anonymous rants is more my thing. And I belong to a bunch of gun groups,political groups and a few misc. I have to temper everything so as not to get attacked on my page. These are the times that try men’s souls…

  12. What makes Facebook appealing is the lack of context. It is only what you make of it.friend who you want. Like what you want. Through data mining and other nefarious means it will deliver some form of paid content that relates to you. Facebook still tries to get me to buy that dry fire training card set.
    But no matter how good of an idea a gun related social media might be, it would alienate a large number of potential members. You can’t force guns on people it just don’t work. As for us, we have places we can go.
    I’m actually not against the use of MySpace or even just Google plus. There’s lots of places for people to go. Like here, or your local gun trader forums. Maybe the firearm blog. Or the military arms channel. Heck, full30 is a great content site.
    Facebook has user friendlyness, nice blue color, brand recognition like crazy, and major motion picture. It’s an asset that we can’t undermine as an individual community. Marks name is enough to keep him off food stamps, heck his name is enough to keep him above median living standards.
    Am I going to rid myself of Facebook? I dunno. I don’t actually post there. I just use it to watch all my military friends grow post service. I use to watch for warning signs from the ones with PTSD and to send good advice or just good vibes to those who need a kick in the pants.
    Facebook is a business. An amazing business that takes in the cash. As much as I don’t like it. It had it’s place in my life.

    For now.

  13. RF,

    Check out Diaspora:

    https://diasporafoundation.org

    You roll your own social network using their code, and your “pod” can interface with other “pods” and keep it’s own identity. You can have a TTAG social network that’s interconnected to other custom social networks for reach, and yes, the pods can broadcast to Facebook if needed. The code is open-source, so when you host it, it belongs to you.

    Read up on it, it’s a pretty cool

  14. OMG! Please give us a break.

    “But make no mistake, if Facebook kills TTAG’s page, we will not only survive, we will thrive. I don’t know how, exactly, but there’s no doubt in my mind that we will.”

    If the powers that be are going to be on the edge of bankruptcy by losing only 10% of their traffic, what does this say about the long-term solvency of TTAG? Or is someone crying wolf here? Not having to waste 80% of your time keeping Facebook up to date might actually provide you with time to provide those of us who don’t use FB with more useful content.

    If TTAG had any ballz at all they would take their page down proactively. They would encourage anyone and everyone who is gun-friendly and associated with FB to remove their presence there too. It is time for all of the friends of the gun to blacklist Zuckerman and his minions. It is not time to cry to mommy because he might ban you too.

    Maybe you should not hire your new email reader secretary, and use that salary to cover the ad income lost by leaving FB? Besides if that position doesn’t have to deal with FB you won’t need to fill it anyway. I suspect that you will increase your visits by new visitors who are also not friends of FB – probably by enough to offset the losses by leaving in the first place.

    It is time to poop or get off the pot. Let’s see your spine TTAG – why don’t you ban FB first?

  15. I don’t have a Facebook account and I don’t need them for my TTAG fix. I’ll still check this website frequently and comment occasionally.

  16. FB has been a marvelous platform for maintaining a cyber business presence, or reconnecting with and maintaining old acquaintances. But it’s run as an absolute autocracy, where naive subscribers enjoy no right to privacy or free expression. Up until it was revealed Lois Lerner’s IRS minions regularly trolled the website for tea-partiers and other nonbelievers to persecute and harass for the sin of obamapostacy, I regularly sparred with liberal friends and their friends for sport and practice. Around the same time, I learned potential employers and clients use FB as an alternative background-check resource for investigating prospective vendors and new-hires, which could be a serious disadvantage in my field. My real ID immediately went dark in favor of a nom de plume (or de guerre) identity for those occasions when an FB address is necessary, but I’m really only deprived of my Boomer peers’ proud posts of their grandchild’s first bronze-worthy BM and such, which is perhaps as it should be.

    FB is Zuckerberg’s baby to do with as he pleases. If his overbearing nannyism runs-off enough subscribers, surely new platforms will arise like a phoenix from the virtual ashes.

  17. This is NOT click bait or a marketing ploy, just good advice:
    Want to rule your social media? In my state most of our gun related groups are now migrating to MeWe. MeWe is a social network that lets you OWN your content define your privacy rules and prevent constant data mining by 3rd parties. To get a idea of what’s up check out my Maine Gateway site. https://mewe.com/join/maine_mewe_gateway Stop giving Facebook all the power!

  18. Despite their incredible earnings, I question Facebook’s commercial effectiveness in any industry. Does anyone care to go to Chevy’s Facebook page? Does that affect your buying decision? Rather Facebook is an easy way to disseminate information that can be easily replaced. I know of some instructors that use it in place of a stand alone web page with class info. They’ll probably be put out the most. Facebook will go away when big companies reexamine their ad spending. The gun industry should boycott Facebook and maybe send ad dollars towards TTAG’s way.

  19. If you are a gun owner and support enterprises that act in opposition to our civil rights, you may want to examine your priorities.

  20. Check out MeWe.com. Stupid name aside, it’s a new social media site that puts privacy at the forefront. It’s very gun friendly and a lot of facebook groups have been migrating there. It’s starting to get some real traction too.

  21. If Zucker does this will he remove all anti-gun pages and Organizations, like MDA, etc, too? If so, I say let him, but if not, he proves he’s a hypocrite and every POTG should close their FB account.

    I go directly to the main TTAG website and rarely use TTAG’s FB page, but I do use FB to link to political figures and opinion makers to get a variety of information more quickly than going page-to-page, as well as keeping in touch with family and friends scattered all over the country.

    If Zucker does this without removing the anti-gun pages, I’ll close my account. but in the meantime it is useful. as in Alinsky’s “useful idiot”,

    If there was a pro 2A social media site, that would be great, then WE could persecute the anti’s like they do us on FB.

    • There is a pro-2a site – mewe.com. Stupid name but it’s a good site and gaining some real traction. Lots of gun groups are moving there.

  22. A few thoughts (I didn’t read through all the comments so some of this may already have been stated, sorry):

    I doubt boycotting fb will cause it’s collapse. And I doubt it will change zuckerberg’s mind. Remember, fb started as a local version of hot or not with stolen pictures from hacked dorm photos. Ol Zuck has never cared about privacy or listening to the people. Remember when they opened up to non students? Remember when the first put up the status box? I do. People boycotted and protested Facebook…on Facebook. Nothing changed. They waited and people got over it. Life continued. Fb does not care, because they are the strongest social media out there.

    As far as another social platform for gun owners that would be nice but I don’t think it would succeed. As stated earlier in the comments, it would probably end up like the forum classifieds that already exist. Look at Google+. Yes people use it, but it will never be as strong or ubiquitous as fb precisely because they don’t attract the annoying overposting types all over fb.

    Also I keep seeing “Facebook is a private company that can do what they want”. False- sort of. They can change their terms of service and put a disclaimer saying ” by using this page you agree…” But they are publicly traded. So obviously the solution is for everyone on ttag to buy one share, then show up en mass at a board meeting and vote to change things back! 🙂

  23. I joined the Gun District platform yesterday and some groups that I belonged to that have migrated to MeWe. Would be great if these platforms take off.

    What was nice about the FB groups is my newsfeed would have gun related posts, mixed in with all the other stuff my friends were putting up. I could see if someone was selling something that I might be interested in without making any special effort. Now that I think about it, there’s not much left on Facebook worth looking at. How many “Like if you love Jesus” posts, “What I just ate” posts and cat videos do you really need.

  24. Pretty much the history of everything, is about people (especially the young) searching for new frontiers where they can get away from the incessant busybodies meddling in the lives of others. America itself a good example. And then, the busybodies stampeding after them, as meddling is all they are good for,

    The internet gained social relevance this way, too. With “underground” chatboards etc., enabling routing around nonsensical restrictions (as in, all restrictions). Then blogs…. MySpace, then Facebook, was similar, for the younger, college then highschool set. But, lo and behold, the busybodies come stomping after them. demanding to have a “democratic voice” in what others can say blah, blah.

    And so, people will move on. And wherever they go, you can pretty much guarantee meddling scumocrats will come dragging, as they are completely useless, hence utterly expendable, for anything at all, and cannot come up with anything worthvile doing, aside fro meddling in the lives of their betters.

  25. I’m curious. Would the new Common Carrier regs have something to say about FBs actions? While I tend towards being anti-regulatory, there is a certain irony about their being hoisted by their own petards.

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