The sleuths at the Wall Street Journal bill this an an “exclusive” report. As if they’d somehow unearthed the story of the century. Facebook can’t stop the signal and never will.
Now, a new tactic involves posts purporting to sell stickers, alongside images of gun makers’ logos. Sellers typically ask an interested party to send a private message via the service for more information. Several sellers contacted by the Journal responded to say they were actually selling guns, not stickers, and provided details and pricing.
The Journal, using a simple search for “gun sticker” and “stickers,” over two days earlier this month surfaced more than 40 posts that purported to be selling stickers, next to images of gun makers’ logos, or a particular caliber ammunition. After that search, Facebook’s recommendation algorithm offered a Journal reporter a full page of more than 50 similar postings across multiple U.S. states.
A separate, one-day analysis conducted last week by Storyful identified more than a dozen listings for stickers of popular gun brand logos, including Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. and Remington Outdoor Co., across 10 U.S. cities. In Lexington, Ky., and San Angelo, Texas, for instance, the search found two listings in each city for stickers related to gun brands. Storyful is a social-media intelligence agency owned by News Corp, which also owns the Journal. While some gun manufacturers have profile pages on Facebook, there is no indication they sell firearms on the site.
One seller in Amory, Miss., posted the logo for Glock Ges.m.b.H., an Austrian maker of semiautomatic handguns, describing his item as a “0.40 sticker,” for $450. He also posted “PM for info,” a shorthand way of asking interested parties to send a private message via the Facebook Marketplace platform for more information. When contacted by the Journal, the seller said he was actually selling a Glock .40-caliber pistol.
– Parmy Olson in Gun Sellers Use New Tactic to Deal on Facebook Marketplace