Facebook announced on Wednesday several restrictions on promoting guns on the social network. The social network claimed that from now on they will remove all offers to sell guns.
Facebook claimed that they will notify users, before removing a post, of the laws on gun sales.
Moreover, the social network will limit the visibility of certain posts and pages about gun sale only to certain users, aged 18 and older.
Facebook also announced that some changes will appear on Instagram, as well. This means that users who search for gun sales on this service will receive a message that will remind them of gun laws.
Facebook hopes to be able to rely on its users, who are asked to report pages who offer guns for sale.
Why did Facebook choose to make such a change at this point? It seems that the social network decided to react to the campaign made by advocacy groups Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. The two advocacy groups indicate that communities such as Guns for Sale have more than 213,000 likes, posting photos of firearms that are available for sale.
The two groups also posted a video regarding illegal gun sales on Facebook. They started a petition seeking the removal of illegal gun sale offers from the famous social network. The reality is that purchasing a gun from Facebook is not hard at all.
VentureBeat made a test and arranged to illegally buy a gun on Facebook in just 15 minutes. This made everyone believe that the illegal gun activity on Facebook is quite a serious issue.
The fact that Facebook reacted to these demands is appreciated by the two advocacy groups who are conducting this campaign. The advocacy groups taking part at this campaign considered this a great win for them. All these new changes are going to be implemented over the next few weeks, it has been said.
Until now Facebook only regulated paid ads and sponsored stories, which could not promote weapons. Generally, weapon pictures are allowed on the social network with the condition to not be pointed directly at the viewer. Users’ posts can say anything.