Saturday, January 30, 2016

Facebook "Guns Down" Sale of Firearms on Site




Gun control has been, and will continue to be, a major issue in the country. Many factors are involved, including who should be allowed to possess a firearm, what types of weapons should be allowed, and what can be done to prevent gun violence. The debate remains active among politicians, gun enthusiasts, and even social media companies.

Facebook has recently announced that it will ban gun sales on the website. This also applies to Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. Previously, users had been able to market and sell guns to other users via Facebook's social media network. This had been made even easier with Facebook's addition of online transactions via Messenger.

Through Facebook it has been possible for licensed or unlicensed dealers to sell guns to people without having to deal with the current regulations regarding guns. Selling guns in this fashion therefore circumvents the process of background checks that are supposed to keep dangerous individuals from procuring these weapons. This is an obvious loophole that can be exploited by those who would not be allowed to obtain guns legally.

The ban mainly affects individuals who wish to sell their guns independently, as opposed to gun retailers who wish to advertise their goods. With Facebook's new restrictions on gun transactions, individuals, as well as retailers, can no longer sell guns on the site; however, retailers are not barred from promoting their business. Advertising is acceptable if transactions are made off the website.

Facebook's action is a further step towards ensuring guns stay out of the wrong hands, but how effective will it truly be? It will take more than one social media site to make significant progress with this matter?

What are your opinions regarding all of this? To what extent does this action prevent gun violence? Was this a good decision by Facebook, and should other companies follow suit?

Sources:

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2016/0130/Why-Facebook-is-banning-gun-sales-from-site
http://www.knoxnews.com/business/367040871.xhtml
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2016/1/30/facebook-announces-crackdown-on-gun-sales.html
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/Facebook-plans-to-ban-private-gun-sales/articleshow/50780786.cms
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/facebook-bans-private-gun-sales-2016-01-29-20103136

2 comments:

Rachael Howard said...

Facebook's action is a further step towards ensuring guns stay out of the wrong hands, but how effective will it truly be?
Hopefully it will be effective but most likely not. There are millions of Facebook users/accounts and I think it will be almost impossible to monitor them. I think that there is a possibility that the number of transactions will decrease but people on Facebook can still set up a gun sale and just meet in person or do it over email, text, or Paypal. All in all I don't think it will make much of a difference.

What are your opinions regarding all of this? To what extent does this action prevent gun violence? Was this a good decision by Facebook, and should other companies follow suit?
I think it was a good decision by Facebook and hopefully it will actually be successful...
Honestly, when I saw this post all I could think of is that Facebook is making sure they aren't liable. I don't think Facebook is all that concerned with getting rid of the loophole, I think it is more worried about being liable if someone purchases a gun off someone on Facebook and then going out and murdering a bunch of people...now if that happens at least Facebook can say that they tired to ban it and that they can work harder towards banning/fixing the issue. I do think other companies should follow suit because from a CEO stand point I think Facebook was smart by covering their butt this way.

Sameer Jain said...

I think it was definitely a step in the right direction for Facebook to start trying to reduce the unregulated gun sales happening there. Other social networks should follow suit as they should be trying to avoid facilitating the “internet sales loophole.” Even though it may be mostly ineffective, this will definitely reduce the amount of unrestricted gun sales happening, which is why other major social networking sites should follow suit. It still may not be too effective even if other websites do the same, but it should still be a priority for social networks to try and minimize the legally shady things happening on their sites. I think that Facebook’s action will reduce gun violence to a small degree, since fewer guns will be getting into the wrong people’s hands, even though apparently 80% of guns in mass shootings were purchased legally.