Facebook, Instagram Crack Down On Illegal Gun Sales And Other Regulated Items

Facebook, and every other social network and website where people virtually congregate and communicate, has a delicate balancing act of allowing as much freedom as possible while also ensuring that the environment is a safe and legal one. Facebook is taking a step further in the “legal and safe” direction by cracking down on the selling of regulated items, with the company specifically mentioning private sales of firearms.

“This balance is important to how we view commercial activity on Facebook or Instagram. We have strict rules about how businesses can use our advertising tools,” said Facebook’s Monica Bickert, Head of Global Policy Management. “For example, we do not permit advertising for illegal drugs, tobacco products, prescription pharmaceuticals, weapons, and several other products and services, and restrict advertising for products such as alcohol, adult products, and gaming. In all cases, we have systems in place to review and remove advertising that violates our policies, is false, deceptive, or misleading.”

Facebook gun sales regulation
(Credit: ROG5728 via Wikipedia)

The new measures are aimed at curbing illegal activity such as selling guns without a background check, so ostensibly those who sell weapons at swap meets or trade shows, for example, shouldn’t be affected as long as they stick to the law.

Facebook also said that it will limit access to posts of regulated items to those over the age of 18. That’s actually a feature that legitimate sellers of regulated items should applaud, as it makes accidentally selling something to a minor less likely.