Social media giant Facebook has confirmed that there would be a radical revision of policies and rules regarding advertisements of guns and related accessories. This initiative is directed towards the restriction of advertisement of weapon accessories such as belt accessories, holsters, and optics to minors.
However, it should also be considered that the advertisement of guns and accessories is not banned completely. This fact can be observed in the privileges of sellers to post advertisements for accessories albeit the existing ban imposed by Facebook on ads for guns and modifications that have been implemented since 2014.
Facebook further stated that ads on the platform are entitled to paid distribution unlike the posts circulated by different pages or friends. Therefore the company needs to focus on the higher standards of content allowed in advertisements thereby validating the unique initiative.
It says, starting June 21, specific accessories cannot be advertised to users below the age of 18 years. The accessories include holsters, belt accessories; military clothing, hunting or self-defence clothing and gear that include clay throwers or shooting targets; mounted flashlights for firearms; equipment and protective clothing; gun cases, mounts, slings, gun safes; paint, wraps or coating for magazines and weapons and scopes and sights for firearms.
According to a Facebook spokesperson, advertising content for the above-mentioned items would be allowed to circulate on Facebook albeit with the mandatory condition for manually restricting the audience age to 18 or over. He also informed regarding the strict nature of the advertising policies of Facebook as compared to the company’s Community Standards.
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This change introduced by Facebook comes as a promising instance in response to the role of firearms in the US observed dominantly in the case of various high-profile shootings. The policy change on Facebook can be welcomed as it reduces the visibility of guns and accessories as appealing and trendy products to young people. With the ban on promotion of gun sales on YouTube in March, Facebook has joined the bandwagon for making an effort to tackle the gun menace that has led to the loss of numerous lives such as in the school shootings at Parkland and Santa Fe earlier this year.