Shooting Blanks: Facebook disarms digital marketing of guns

Digital media advertising the sales of firearms can no longer use Facebook or Instagram. According to Reuters, posts to sell or buy guns without background checks will be deleted on these platforms and users under 18-years-of-age will not be allowed to view gun offers per the recent release from Facebook which states, “We will not permit people to post offers to sell regulated items that indicate a willingness to evade or help others evade the law.”

For years Facebook has been involved with anti-violence forums. Its VetoViolence page sports 32,007 likes to dates and regular updates on the topic. It was also tied in to the National Youth Violence Prevention Week’s live chat at #VetoViolence on Twitter where experts from the Anti-Defamation League, the US Department of Education and the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reached out to the community at large on bullying prevention, which at the time ranked as the world’s top 10 trending topics.

On the local level, the Chicago Police Department began using social media in 2013 to fight violence. The force employed network analysis monitor gangs by mapping out friendships and associations found on Facebook and LinkedIn.

In the 20th century, there was much debate over the way in which society was negatively influenced by the media (typically film, TV, and gaming), however the possible positive impact social media now plays in the 21st century shoots down some of these theories.