Certain corners of Facebook and Instagram have for some time acted as would-be online gun shows, ones from which background checks have been noticeably absent, but now the social network and its photo-sharing subsidiary say they won't abide the behavior. Gun sales are officially forbade on Facebook.
The move, reported by the New York Times, may strike some as odd. Facebook doesn't sell guns, of course. Instead, users do to one another. Licensed gun dealers can still maintain Facebook profiles and post prices alongside photos of firearms.
Like pot and drugs before them, the company says that it wants no part. Previously, Instagram banned the sale of illegal drugs for fears that it was becoming a sort of Silk Road. How do these transactions occur, you might ask? Rather simply, someone posts a picture, perhaps a price, and offers are made in direct messages or posts.
“Over the last two years, more and more people have been using Facebook to discover products and to buy and sell things to one another,” Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of product policy, said in a statement. “We are continuing to develop, test and launch new products to make this experience even better for people and are updating our regulated goods policies to reflect this evolution.”