Both Facebook and Instagram will soon be censored as the social network attempts to get rid of illegal gun sale ads that are present on both websites.
Gun control advocates have long asserted that the internet is now one of the most common places that a criminal goes to buy illegal weapons and some have specifically mentioned Facebook as a social network that has thus far allowed gun ads to be posted.
As it is not necessarily easy to determine which gun sale advertisements are meant for law-abiding citizens and which are ones are illegal, Facebook will specifically remove posts that are reported.
We will remove reported posts that explicitly indicate a specific attempt to evade or help others evade the law, – Facebook
This announcement comes after other popular websites like Google Plus and Craiglist have removed all gun sale advertisements, whether they be legal or illegal.
Pages that are built around the sale of firearms will now have to be more careful and according to Facebook, the pages should include statements that specifically show what the laws are.
This is one of many areas where we face a difficult challenge balancing individuals’ desire to express themselves on our services, and recognizing that this speech may have consequences elsewhere,– Facebook
Patrolling the network’s 1.2 billion users is not possible, so Facebook will rely on those same users to report any posts that show a willingness to participate in illegal sales, such as those that openly include language that support transporting guns over state lines or selling without a background check.
We believe these collective efforts represent the right approach in balancing people’s desire to express themselves while promoting a safe, responsible community. – Facebook
Groups that have asked for the stricter policy are touting this as a victory and while it may be difficult to see the effect that reporting posts has on the illegal gun market, at least Facebook is doing its part.
Summary: Facebook will soon implement a policy that allows users on Facebook and Instagram to report any posts that are related to the illegal sale of guns.
Image Credit: theguardian