Facebook explicitly bans the sale of guns on its platform under its terms of service. However, according to internal company guidance obtained by The Washington Post, the social media giant allows gun sellers to violate this rule 10 times before they’re kicked off the platform.
To make matters worse, the documents also revealed that Facebook has an incredibly lenient five-strikes policy even for gun sellers and purchasers who call for violence or praise a dangerous organization. With gun control back in the news following a spate of recent mass shootings, Facebook is already under intense pressure from advocates to change these rules and make them more aligned with other serious offenses.
“Facebook’s 10 strike rule for prohibited gun sales is beyond shocking — it’s incredibly dangerous,” nonprofit leader and anti-gun advocate Shannon Watts told The Washington Post. “Gun violence is tearing apart our communities and yet Facebook is more concerned about giving gun sellers not just a second chance, but 10 chances? That’s not accountability, that’s complicity.”
In its response, Facebook said that most gun sellers only accrue one or two strikes because they learn their lesson and change their behavior. However, that reasoning still doesn’t explain why the company has such a generous policy toward these sellers in the first place. With more pressure sure to come on the company, it wouldn’t be surprising if this rule is changed sometime in the very near future.
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