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“On Monday morning, Facebook introduced Marketplace, a new section on its mobile app that allowed its users to buy and sell with their friends and strangers,” reports. “By the evening, the social giant was apologizing for an issue with the section, which featured some posts that would not have been out of place on the online black market Silk Road, which was shut down by the F.B.I. in 2013.” Specifically . . .

Illegal drugs. Dogs. Guns. Sexual services. Baby hedgehogs. Selling all of these items and services on Facebook goes against the site’s commerce policy. And all of them were available on Marketplace on Monday.

You may recall that Facebook launched an anti-gun sales jihad last July. You may also recall that TTAG and more than a dozen other firearms-related Facebook publishers suffered a dramatic page view loss when person or person unknown flagged our pages for inappropriate content. Check this out . . .

Users who bought and sold products within groups had also violated the website’s commerce policy. In July, Mike Monteiro, a web designer who started a campaign to help monitor the social network for sales of guns, said that he had reported about 500 posts or groups that violated Facebook’s ban on weapons sales in the past month, and that the website had taken down only about two-thirds of them.

So now we know: the San Francisco designer is the ring leader of the group of anti-gunners who use online pester power to penalize posters with pro-gun proclivities. Make no mistake, Monteiro doesn’t pull any punches, even in his Twitter page description (“This is a personal account and does not reflect the opinions of my boss, who is an asshole.”)

I’ve emailed Mr. Monteiro. That should be fun. Meanwhile, Facebook police are now swarming over Marketplace, doing their algorithmic best to stop firearms sales on their killer app (so to speak). How great is that?

“We are working to fix the problem and will be closely monitoring our systems to ensure we are properly identifying and removing violations before giving more people access to Marketplace,” [Mary Ku, a director for product management at Facebook] said. “We apologize for this issue.”

Yeah, about that “properly identifying” bit . . . stay off of my lawn!

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  1. “…Facebook’s ban on weapons sales…”

    So facebook bans sales of rocks and sticks, ropes, etc ’cause they can all become weapons when used as such?

    Things aren’t inherently weapons until used as such. Intent of the maker doesn’t matter, if a man makes a sword, with his intent for it to be a weapon, and I buy it and display it as art, is it still a weapon or is it art? Just like people aren’t criminals because they COULD commit a crime. You aren’t a criminal until you commit a crime. Objects are no different.

    • Pillows man! Don’t forget to ban sales of pillows!

      After all, people have used pillows as murder weapons to kill people.

    • Does Facebook ban showing hands and feet given that they kill twice as many people every year as rifles in the USA?

  2. “…which featured some posts that would not have been out of place on the online black market Silk Road, which was shut down by the F.B.I. in 2013.”

    Don’t worry, Silk Road has been replaced with at least 3 or 4 different ‘marketplaces’ that show up, operate for 6 months, then quietly disappear. Commerce will always find a way. Prohibition never works.

  3. Um yeah there’s a so-called “secret” FB gun group I occasionally peruse. You have to be recommend by a member. And GUN isn’t mentioned in the group name. It’s called “stuff”…but I’ve never had the urge to get any stuff from a stranger.

  4. Part of the drop in page hits that has not been discussed, at least I have not seen it talked about, is people such as myself that quit using facebook after they implemented their draconian policy on firearms.

    I personally decided I would not use their services after that time.

    • Yes. I did nearly the same (I have a couple of family members overseas who post on Facebook and I read it to stay up with them until I can convince them to use Google+).
      I no longer post myself.
      I also quit using Yahoo and Linked-In since their careless data breaches.
      Careless with my personal data? No patronage for you!

  5. I am good on guns and pitbulls at the moment, but now I really want one of those baby hedgehogs!!

  6. Thanks NY Times, I didn’t know selling firearms was an illegal activity suitable for black markets only!
    Somebody better tell Walmart, Cabelas/Bass Pro, Guns America,, Gun Broker, and their local gun shops before they are all arrested and go to prison! (/sarcasm)

  7. What the hell does facebook have against baby hedgehogs? (or are they talking about small version of anti-submarine weapons?)

    • Yea, my wife is so equipped, but when I pointed out she snored last night, she hit me with a “denial of Service attack”

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