Facebook has a 10-strike policy for buying and selling guns
Additionally, gun sales have only been banned since 2016.
If you’re planning on using Facebook to buy or sell guns, you should probably reconsider. The social network does have rules against doing so, but they are rather lenient.
If you try to participate in the blacklisted Facebook firearms trade once, you’ll get more chances to do it again. So, uh, you’d better watch out…?
According to The Washington Post, Facebook has a 10-strike rule lined out for violators of this rule in its “internal guidance”. The Post claims that, until 2020, “the strike threshold” for buying and selling guns actually exceeded 10 strikes.
Facebook employees found this number “too high”, and fought to bring it down to 10. There aren’t any further details on employee arguments, but it’s a peculiar hill to die on nevertheless.
Gun sales weren’t always banned on Facebook. It was perfectly fine to buy and sell guns on the network until 2016. At that time, a new gun policy was put in place banning the “purchase, sale or trade of firearms, ammunition, and explosives between private individuals”.
However, there are individuals who try to skirt the rules. They’ll use listings with phrases like “gun cases,” as reported by Bloomberg. When contacted, sellers would respond with photos or information about what the “cases” contained, including rifles, pistols, and other firearms.
So while Facebook prohibits this activity entirely, that doesn’t mean savvy users aren’t trying to get around it — which is obviously still an issue.
Both of these occurrences are indeed concerning. But it doesn’t appear that Facebook is going to be changing anytime soon. If you’re the type of person who needs to skirt the rules, just don’t.
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Despite the rather lenient policies in place, they are there for a reason. And with the debate on gun control lighting up discussion around the country, now probably isn’t the time to start getting into the firearms business on Facebook.
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