Looking for a Gun?  Facebook Can Help.

Social media strikes again, or should I say, social media becomes anti-social and dangerous!  It’s not that Facebook wants to support the practice of selling guns online.  They actually banned the practice in January of this year, but those clever gun dealers have devised various online selling strategies to circumvent this ban.  Sometimes it is simply a matter of using external sites and sending coded private messages.  What a tangled web we weave!

So we have some assurance that all of this illegal trafficking in firearms sales is being addressed, but its tenacity and creativity is astonishing.  More optimistic gun sales monitors claim that they are starting to shut down the online marketplace.  At the same time, gun enthusiasts are engaging in their own online activism.  There is currently a petition on Change.org that has drawn 40 of the 100 supporters it seeks to urge Facebook to lift its ban.  Please do NOT support this petition.  Please support individuals and groups who are actively involved in efforts to block such online gun sales.  Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a quick fix to all this.  One anti-gun sales activist reported that he had identified about 500 groups or posts to Facebook in the last month.  Facebook took down about two-thirds of them, but sometimes only after follow-up complaints?

One group is at the forefront of this anti-gun charge, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.  They appreciate Facebook’s response to date but add: “Part of being a good corporate actor is taking ownership – lives are on the line – and it’s vital that Facebook figures this out quickly.”

Ray Myers

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