Above are the recently leaked guidelines for Facebook censors regarding images of guns posted on Facebook. These are the guidelines listed under “threat.” Notice the category “Expressing desire to purchase” from “no intent stated.”
The mandate: remove. So, If you you post an image of a gun with a caption like “I want one of these,” Facebook will deep-six the post. heatst.com rightly drew attention to this policy, and asked Facebook WTF . . .
Heat Street invited a Facebook spokesman to comment on the policy, but could not get a straight answer. Despite repeated requests, a spokesman would only say, enigmatically, that “context is extremely important”.
The vast majority of gun owners are peaceful, the vast majority of gun purchases do not end in any crime or violence.
But Facebook is, effectively, treating gun ownership as an inherent threat.
Though imperfect, the leaked documents show that on most topics Facebook is at least trying very hard to take a nuanced approach, and limit unjust censorship.
On the issue of guns, however, Facebook appears to have a massive blind spot.
Now tell us something we don’t know.