On the heels of Facebook’s 10th anniversary and the “look back” videos that have dominated newsfeeds this week, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America today released its own riff on the videos to take a “closer look” at how Facebook makes it easy for guns to be bought and sold online – without criminal background checks. The video can be viewed at www.DemandAction.org/Facebook
Last week Moms Demand Action launched a campaign to call on Facebook and Instagram (owned by Facebook) to prohibit gun sales and trades on their site. Unlike other online platforms like Craigslist and Google+, Facebook and Instagram allow gun sales and trades – making them unregulated online marketplaces where felons, domestic abusers and other dangerous people can easily obtain firearms.
The campaign has shed a light on the vast, unregulated market for private gun sales on the internet. An estimated 6.6 million gun transfers occur every year without a background check, many through online transactions like those initiated via Facebook and Instagram. In 2011, the City of New York conducted an unprecedented undercover investigation of firearm sales online by determining whether unlicensed sellers advertising guns for sale on the internet are complying with federal law to refuse to sell to people who admit that they could not pass a background check – a disturbing 62 percent of these sellers agreed to sell to buyers who said they probably couldn’t pass a background check.
Moms Demand Action and Mayors Against Illegal Guns have called on supporters to share memes, post comments on Facebook, and tweet to #EndFacebookGunShows. The petition asking Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom has already received more than 30,000 signatures.