Facebook executives are currently debating a huge policy change that could bring an end to all gun-themed pages on the social media website. Image credit: scottystarnes.wordpress.com
Gun enthusiasts and gun rights activists are up in arms over a recent announcement that social media giant Facebook could be planning to ban all gun-themed pages. According to a report from venturebeat.com, the social media site has been under a lot of pressure from lobby groups like “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” and “Moms Demand Action” who want the site to get rid of any and all gun-themed pages.
The two groups, who have joined forces to bring an end to Facebook’s many gun pages, are claiming that the site is often used to make illegal gun sales. A petition by the two groups on Change.org reads as follows:
Most of these sales and trades can take place without background checks, meaning that there’s no way to stop a Facebook or Instagram user from potentially selling a gun to a felon, a domestic abuser or another dangerous person who would otherwise be prohibited from obtaining a gun.
I think of Facebook and Instagram as places to share photos of my kids & family — not as an online market for guns. Much like Mothers Against Drunk Driving was created to change laws regarding drunk driving, I started Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America the day after the Sandy Hook shooting to build support for common-sense gun reforms. I want my children — and all children — to feel safe and secure.
The petition goes on to point out that Craigslist, Ebay, and other websites have already banned the sale of firearms and asks that Mark Zuckerberg do the same with Facebook and Instagram.
There appears to be no clear answer as to how far the policy change would go in “banning guns from Facebook.” There are gun advocacy pages with massive followings like Gun Rights and Gun Owners that would likely be some of the first targets. (No pun intended) But what else would the social media site ban? Would gun manufacturers like Smith & Wesson Corp, Glock, and Bushmaster Firearms have to give up their large Facebook following as well? What about the millions of local gun retailers and gun shops across the US that have Facebook pages to reach their customers? Would they be taken down?
Only time will tell what will happen as this debate rages on. But one thing has been made clear; neither the anti-gun groups nor the pro-gun groups seem keen on giving anything up and it’s quite possible that, regardless of what decision Facebook makes, the debate will be far from over.