Faceb$$k's Double-Barreled Two-Faced Gun Policy
Half of Facebook's senior management supports free gun speech, while the other wants to limit gun sales. Facebook prohibits firearm sales. Washington Post papers show buyers and sellers can break the law ten times before being banned.
Senior Facebook management has long been split on the issue of gun controls, with one side supporting freedom of expression and the other wanting to reduce the sale of guns.
Gun sales are not permitted on Facebook. Internal instructions obtained by the Washington Post reveals that buyers and sellers can break the regulation ten times before they are permanently removed from the social network.
There is a new policy in place for individuals who publish child pornography, which is unlawful, or terrorist images, which leads swift removal from Facebook.
According to the documents, a separate five-strikes regulation applies to gun traffickers and consumers who actively urge for violence or laud a known deadly organization.
According to the documents, a distinct policy of five strikes applies even to gun suppliers and purchasers who actively call for violence or support a known dangerous organization. This policy applies to anyone who has a total of five strikes against them.
Facebook, which was once a major marketplace for gun sales, which were typically conducted in groups reserved for people with a passion for firearms, decided in 2016 to outlaw these types of sales in response to pressure from activists and government agencies trying to tighten gun control laws in the wake of the shooting that took place in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, in 2012. Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok are just some other social media platforms that have followed suit.
Because the sale of firearms is legal in the United States, many of those who breach the policy don't realize they're doing anything wrong, according to Facebook's insistence that it polices gun transactions effectively. Facebook, on the other hand, has come under fire for not doing enough to regulate the sale of firearms on its platform.
The "strikes" system is shrouded in mystery. It offers users who violate any of the company's regulations with a certain number of passes and a graduated system of sanctions before they are removed from the site. This system gives users who break any of the company's rules a specific number of passes and a tiered system of punishments. However, the firm is not very forthcoming with information regarding how it monitors compliance with its restriction on the sale of firearms. Because of this, the "strikes" system is subject to conjecture.
Documents kept on a company's computers. For some time now, Facebook's senior management and policymaking teams have been at odds with the company's firearms regulations, according to internal papers and interviews with six current and former workers who requested anonymity to characterize company talks. Both the platform's support for free speech and the public's demand that weapons sales be curtailed have caused these groups to become divided. To protect their identities, interviewees described workplace interactions under the condition of anonymity.
After one of the deadliest massacres in United States history took place in Uvalde, Texas, a mass shooting occurred that resulted in the deaths of 19 elementary school students and two teachers. The shooter in Uvalde obtained the firearms legally from a local gun store with a valid license from the federal government. According to the organization Everytown for Gun Safety, which advocates for stricter gun control laws, only 22 of the 50 states mandate a background check for the purchase of firearms from unlicensed sellers. These dealers sell their wares at gun fairs and, increasingly, online. This has reignited the public debate regarding how easy it is for individuals to purchase firearms.
The proliferation of e-commerce websites has contributed to the transformation of the market for the selling of firearms. Along with more standard social media platforms like Facebook, specialized websites like Backpage, Armslist, and Gunlistings have attracted many buyers and sellers in recent years. According to studies, the internet has become a sanctuary for people selling firearms without the required licenses and coming from jurisdictions that do not legally demand a background check.
Daniel Webster, the co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions, stated that "the gaps in the laws have made private sales without background checks not only legal but now really easy with online shopping." Online shopping has enabled people to circumvent the requirement of background checks. "The capacity to communicate with a greater number of people, including minors, those subject to restraining orders for domestic violence, and convicted felons, is facilitated by the widespread availability of the internet. They may just go online and look for what they need "weapons of war
When asked by The Post about the 10-strike and 5-strike standards, gun safety experts and activists regarded them as being excessively deferential to firearm buyers. This comes when the internet has become a hub for peer-to-peer gun sales without background checks.
Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, a grass-roots network run by Everytown, said in a statement that the "10 strike rule for unlawful gun sales on Facebook is beyond startling — it's dangerous." "Our communities are being torn apart by gun violence, and yet Facebook seems more concerned about whether or not they should give gun sellers not just a second chance, but ten chances? That does not constitute accountability; rather, it demonstrates complicity."
Facebook did not deny the existence of a 10-strike rule in its community standards. A representative for Facebook named Andy Stone stated that the firm swiftly eliminates posts that violate its policy barring the sale of firearms and imposes progressively severe penalties for users who break the rules many times, including the permanent suspension of their accounts.
Stone stated, "if we uncover any major violations that have the potential for real-world harm, we don't hesitate to alert law authorities." "If we identify any serious violations that have the potential for real-world harm," "The reality is that nearly ninety percent of people who get a strike for violating our firearms policy accrue less than two because their violations are inadvertent and once we inform them about our policies, they don't violate them again," said the official. "This is because their violations are inadvertent and because once we inform them about our policies, they don't violate them again."
Other social media companies have varying policies about enforcing their laws against content and firearms sales. According to a statement made by the company's spokesman Jack Malon, YouTube forbids any video used to sell firearms. This includes links to websites that sell guns directly to customers. Creators on YouTube who amass three offenses within ninety days will have their channels removed from the platform. According to Hilary McQuaide, a representative for the company, users are kicked off the video-sharing service TikTok after the first time they breach the company's regulations, which prohibit the advertising or sale of guns.
Facebook's policies contain flaws, and people who sell firearms have found ways to exploit them. Journalists have regularly identified ways vendors use to circumvent bans while reaching potential customers in specialized groups on Facebook or Facebook Marketplace, the company's online listing services. One strategy involves advertising gun accessories, such as holsters or cases, which are allowed for sale on the platform; if a consumer contacts the vendor, a gun can be sold over private messaging on Facebook or by text message. Holsters and cases are examples of gun accessories. Following the submission of many responses to postings for gun cases, a reporter for the Post was sent three direct messages including offers to purchase firearms.
6 YEARS AGO-Facebook Has Banned Gun Sales: How Are They Still Happening? | Forbes