Facebook has banned gun sales on their site although they never really allowed gun sales in the first place. What Facebook has allowed is a private gun seller and buyer to use the site for negotiating a sale of a firearm, but bargaining for guns is no longer in the scope of possibilities on Facebook.
According to NPR News on January 30, Facebook will change its policy to reflect the new changes, which have been brought about under pressure from the Obama administration and their campaign on tougher gun laws. Gun safety advocates have also provided some weight behind making this decision.
According to Yahoo News, what this Facebook ban on gun sales entails is “private individuals worldwide will be banned from advertising or selling firearms on Facebook and its photo-sharing service Instagram,” under the new rules. Negotiating price between buyer and seller is also something Facebook will not allow.
Guns will now fall in the same category of illegal drugs, marijuana and pharmaceuticals, which have long been banned on Facebook. So how will Facebook monitor the possibility of two people negotiating the price of a firearm so they can then go in and take that conversation down?
This policing will be up to other Facebook users who will hopefully flag any conversations when it comes to a gun changing hands on Facebook. This is how the illegal drug, marijuana and pharmaceutical chats are curtailed today.
The same goes for Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, but licensed gun sellers will still be able to arrange the sale of guns on both Facebook and Instagram. This gun sales ban is not something that Facebook has made a snap decision on, they have been pondering some type of move since 2014.
Back in March of 2014 Facebook released a statement saying they had “recently heard specific concerns from people about offers for the private sales of firearms,” but were grappling with the “balancing individuals desire to express themselves on our services, and recognizing that this speech may have consequences elsewhere.” It looks as if Facebook found that balance!