Although Facebook has a ban against gun sales on its social media platform, such sales reportedly still occur from time to time.
Now a “Twitter militia” has emerged, comprised of persons who “spend their free time” searching out such sales on Facebook and flagging them so they can be stopped.
One of the militia members–John Sibley–claims he “has been responsible for the takedown of more than 1,000 Facebook groups selling guns.” And according to Mashable, Sibley is by no means alone.
To be clear, Mashable believes Sibley’s claim of taking down “more than a 1,000 Facebook groups” is inflated. However, they quote other militia members who report flagging “dozens, even hundreds of groups a week” for Facebook gun sales. And not all gun sales look like gun sales at first. One “Twitter militia” member–David Buchanan–illustrated this by pointing to a Facebook post which said, “‘I’m selling this shirt, comes with everything in the picture,’ and in the picture is a gun with magazines and ammunition.”
Members of the militia tweet screen shots of these and other such sales as a means of shaming Facebook into action.
Facebook presents itself as doing what it can to enforce its ban, and they admit that enforcement is not without difficulties–especially with privacy issues at stake. A Facebook representative told Mashable, “We do have content up on Facebook that violates most of our policies at any given point. It’s not unique, in that perspective, that this relates to our gun policies. This is why we have people reviewing reports around the clock.”
Facebook receives more than one “million reports of noncompliant content a day.” The social media giant “has a team reviewing the flagged content 24/7.” But despite this, the “Twitter militia” complains that many of the reports of noncompliance do not receive the proper response.
It should be noted that it is perfectly legal to sell guns privately, and it has been legal since 1791. But in January, Facebook announced that private gun sales would be banned throughout its platform. The various members of the “Twitter militia” are spending their free time trying to verify whether Facebook really is banning such sales.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.