Facebook De-Friends Illegal Gun Sellers

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The focus on gun control has prompted some companies in the private sector to address gun violence, and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has announced that it will enact measures to prevent illegal gun sales, a step other social media sites could follow. The social network is the one of the world’s largest marketplaces for guns, while Craigslist, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), and eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) have all prohibited unlicensed gun sales.

In a blog post published Wednesday, Facebook introduced what the company’s head of Global Policy Management, Monika Bickert, called a series of new educational and enforcement efforts for people discussing the private sale of regulated items. Facebook already prohibits or restricts advertisements for illegal drugs, tobacco products, prescription pharmaceuticals, weapons, and several other products and services.

Now, Facebook will delete posts that indicate a user is willing to break the law, including selling a gun without a background check. But the efforts will depend on its 1.2 billion users. Anytime a user flags a post promoting the private sale of a commonly regulated item, Facebook will receive a report and send a message to that user “reminding him or her to comply with relevant laws and regulations.”

Facebook pages that are primarily used to promote the private sale of regulated goods or services are now required to remind people of the relevant laws and limit access to people older than 18 if mandated by law.

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