This article was published on March 5, 2014

Facebook bans posts selling guns without background checks

Facebook bans posts selling guns without background checks

Facebook today unveiled new measures to toughen up its position on firearm sales promoted across its social network.

While Facebook doesn’t allow its users to advertize illegal drugs, weapons, prescription medicine and other sensitive items, it’s fairly common for people to post on their timeline offering spare rooms, second-hand cars and increasingly, it would seem, regulated firearms. Today, the company said it would delete posts that were advertizing guns without the necessary background checks.

“We will not permit people to post offers to sell regulated items that indicate a willingness to evade or help others evade the law,” Monika Bickert, Head of Global Policy Management for Facebook said.

“For example, private sellers of firearms in the US will not be permitted to specify ‘no background check required,’ nor can they offer to transact across state lines without a licensed firearms dealer.”

Furthermore, Facebook said it will now show “special in-app education” to Instagram users who are frequently searching for firearms.

As part of the new measures, the company will also limit posts that advertize regulated item, including firearms, to users over the age of 18. It will also send a message to the creator reminding them to comply with the law.

Finally, Facebook Pages that are used mostly to sell regulated items will need to make it clear that all sales and transactions must be carried out in accordance with the law. Access will also need to be limited to Facebook users over the age of 18, if and when it’s required by legislation.

Facebook, Instagram Announce New Educational and Enforcement Measures for Commercial Activity

Image Credit: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images