One of the biggest critiques of Facebook’s role as a platform is its allowance of personal gun sales between two people online. But according to the New York Times, the company has finally taken steps to ban private person-to-person gun sales on both Facebook and Instagram.
This is another, more deliberate step in Facebook’s journey to curb its presence as one of the biggest websites for gun sales, following a 2014 decision to limit their presence in news feeds, particularly to minors. The company has often been caught in the middle of gun control activists who believe the site is abetting potentially illegal sales of personal firearms and the pushback from gun enthusiasts who bristle at forms of censorship and regulation.
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But Facebook is shedding its image as an informal marketplace to actually become its own ecommerce platform. The company has been testing the ability to buy products on the site, and now invites users to store credit card information within the platform for easy purchase and personal transactions.
Facebook isn’t alone in this aspect when it comes to banning guns. Both Craigslist and Amazon have banned the sale of guns from their platforms, and eBay has a very strict policy when dealing in the sale and transport of weapons and ammunition. For example, whole firearms cannot be sold on eBay, but parts of them can.
As Facebook continues to delve into ecommerce, it is no surprise that it will take the steps its forerunners have already made. In turn, it will possibly kill one of the biggest ways people privately sell guns online.
➤ Facebook Moves to Ban Private Gun Sales on Its Site [New York Times]