Facebook On Guns
Facebook On Guns: Facebook had already banned the sale of guns without identity checks, but the new rules aim to stop all gun trade between individuals on the sites. The move comes three weeks after US President Barack Obama unveiled new restrictions on gun purchases. The rule change brings gun sales under the same restrictions placed by Facebook on illegal drugs and pharmaceuticals by Facebook. The site has 1.59bn users worldwide. Facebook “was unfortunately and unwittingly serving as an online platform for dangerous people to get guns”, Shannon Watts, of the Everytown for Gun Safety campaign group, told Associated Press.
In late 2013, New York’s attorney general, Eric T Schneiderman, wrote to Facebook, alerting them to “a number of groups in which users promoted the sale of assault rifles, handguns, rifles, shotguns and gun parts”. Several hours after Facebook’s announcement on Friday, dozens of groups on the site advertising private gun sales remained live. Some users writing on the groups’ walls suggested starting new groups under inconspicuous names to avoid detection. The National Rifle Association (NRA), which opposes changes to gun legislation, has not yet responded to Facebook’s decision. Facebook is monitoring the situation and will take further steps if people do not adhere to the rules.