“Facebook users now have the option to do what they couldn’t when the company announced it was banning the sale of guns and ammunition through the site earlier this year,” forbes.com reports, “report suspected sales. “The social media giant recently rolled out a new feature [on its “report problems” widget] that allows users to flag for removal posts that appear to be ‘describing the purchase or sale of drugs, guns or regulated goods.'” Wait? Regulated goods? In modern America, what goods aren’t regulated? Anyway, that’s not the wording on the screen I found (as above). According to FORBES — who’ve been hammering this story for months — it’s too little too late . . .
The option comes more than three months after Facebook first announced the ban in January, following weeks of complaints from advocates who have taken it upon themselves to police the site by reporting instances of gun sales and groups dedicated to buying and selling guns. Previously, advocates had to report suspected sales as “harassment” or as a “credible threat of violence,” options that aren’t always clear and could make it more difficult for members of Facebook’s content review team to distinguish banned content.
The move figures to boost Facebook’s enforcement of its ban on gun sales, which relies entirely on user reports. Numerous volunteers affiliated with gun violence prevention groups, including Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, told FORBES they first noticed the option to report gun sales earlier this month. Some said they received notifications that groups they had reported had been removed, only to later find the groups back up on the site.
“For a while it was fun – like popping shrink wrap bubbles,” said Charlie Galliher, one of the hundreds of advocates for closing the so-called ‘private sale’ loophole who have flooded Facebook with reports of suspected gun sales in recent months. “I regret not confirming they actually were down.”
Ah, the joys of degrading and destroying Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms — from the comfort of your own living room! As FORBES points out, a lot of Facebook gun sales pages have gone private, which keeps the antis’ noses out of their business. Which is banned on Facebook. Private gun sales, not the antis. That would be wrong!
Again, I reckon it’s only a matter of time before Facebook pulls the plug on all firearms-related pages. In fact, they’re already marginalized. A survey of the gunblogosphere proves that Mark Zuckerberg’s minions have changes their sharing algorithm for gun-related contents, reducing gun blogs’ Facebook traffic by 25 to 50 percent. Or more. A bunch of prominent bloggers (including TTAG) have banded together to take action (with the help a certain firearms friendly Senator). Watch this space. Or TTAG’s Facebook page. But preferably here.