Facebook has publicly announced changes to its platform that would potentially limit illegal gun sales on the website. These changes will give Facebook users the ability to help make the site safer, and make it harder for people who shouldn’t have guns to get their hands on them.
Learn more about Facebook’s groundbreaking changes below, and see what’s happening behind the scenes to reduce the threat of illegal gun sales on the world’s more popular social network.
1. Facebook will block all users under the age of 18 from viewing reported private gun sale posts and pages primarily used for these offers.
2. Users will be able to flag posts that promote suspicious and potentially illegal gun sales for deletion.
3. Facebook will delete reported posts that offer gun sales without background checks.
4. Facebook will delete all reported posts that offer gun sales across state lines.
5. Facebook will continue to report threatening gun-related posts to law enforcement.
6. Users will have to acknowledge laws that apply to them when they sell guns — and they’ll be blocked from continuing to the site if they don’t.
7. All gun-related Facebook pages and groups have to acknowledge the laws that apply to them, and must display this information prominently. Once reported, they’ll be taken down temporarily until they do so.
8. Searching Instagram for gun-related hashtags will prompt a warning and require users to acknowledge gun sale laws before viewing search results.
9. Facebook will target ads at users interested in gun-related pages with information on gun sale laws — including background checks requirements.
These changes are the first step towards making all corners of the Internet free from illegal gun sales. Facebook is helping lead the way with these reforms, but there’s still a lot left to be done.
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Design by Tatiana Lam, (c) 2014, Mayors Against Illegal Guns Action Fund