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Published on March 19th, 2016 | by Jones MT

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Facebook Jumps In To Help With Gun Control, Bans On-platform Sales

Facebook has officially banned gun sales on the social network. This is according to an announcement made by the platform’s spokesperson on Friday, January 29. Anyone found in breach of the new regulations will be treated as a criminal and handed over to law enforcement authorities for further investigation and possible trial.

According to the announcement, the social networking site has banned all “peer-to-peer sale of weapons.” This includes but is not limited to advertising sales on the platform. The move is aimed at lending a hand to ongoing gun control efforts spearheaded by the Obama administration. The new policy was effective henceforth and would be extended to Instagram which is owned by Facebook.
It will prove a tough measure especially for licensed gun merchants who have always used the platform to advertise their products and brands. But Facebook was quick to clarify that licensed dealers would still be allowed to have Facebook pages. However, they would NOT be allowed to use the platform to advertise the products. The platform says it will rely on users to flag posts and messages if and when the new regulation is flouted.

With more than 1.5 billion accounts and counting, Facebook is largest social networking site in the world. The platform already prohibits the sale of marijuana, pharmaceuticals, and illegal drugs on the site. Now they are banning on-platform gun sales.

“The past two years have seen more and more people use Facebook as an ecommerce platform – selling and buying goods on the network and doing their research before buying something,” said Facebook’s head of product policy. “We know that we need to grow and continually update our regulations to help in controlling what can be sold and what can’t be sold on the platform.”

Facebook also plans on taking the control measures one notch higher by blocking minors from viewing posts advertising weapons. There has been a lot of pressure from civil societies for social media platforms to join the battle against firearms and illegal drugs. This gesture by Facebook will come as welcome news for these civil societies.

As merchants deal with the fact that need to protect their online stores and get online firearm merchant accounts for secure transactions, now they have a fresh challenge – they cannot openly advertise their products on Facebook. Could it get any worse?

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