November, 2019 – Facebook’s lax policy is allowing advertising and pages that glamorize and normalize guns.
Videos showing everything from violence against living creatures to making old guns work again seem perfectly acceptable on Mr Zuckerberg’s social media site.
It’s time for us to speak out.
- A Huffington Post report paints a damning picture of how Facebook’s lax ad policy is allowing people to think they are buying Virginia concealed carry permits. The report says “Concealed Online, a for-profit company based in California, exploits a Virginia law that lets non-residents apply for concealed-carry permits after completing a safety training online. Through its website, it gives its customers the video training and a test, then charges them up to $130 for a certificate of completion.” As it turns out, the ‘permit’ is not worth the paper it is printed on, as most states refuse to recognize it. It is not upsetting to find would-be concealed-carry gun owners are being fleeced, but with tens of thousands of ads encouraging people to want to get a permit for a concealed gun, these ads both bilk the gullible and make having such a permit seem a desirable thing.
- Sexualized imagery is allowed which glamorizes guns – there is a ‘Cassie Massacre’ nude model who poses with a large number of rounds and an automatic weapon between her legs.
- A Facebook page, Guns, Ammo and Knives, glamorizes automatic weapons and has content many people would find alarming. A ‘toy’ gun will kill insects by blasting them with table salt; a video shows how to make an inoperable, rusted handgun useable once more, and a man sprays a body of water with a semi-automatic weapon, after which dead sea life rises to the top of the water.
- Scores of Facebook pages sell guns. As reflected in a new report by Dallas/CBS news, we know that people in Texas are not disclosing whether they have been turned down for weapon ownership in the past. The report ‘Thousands Lie To Try And Buy A Gun; Few In North Texas Ever Punished’ makes very worrying reading. If thousands in Texas alone are skirting gun purchase laws, how likely is it that those buying weapons online are not being scrupulously vetted if those who try to buy through stores are able to lie about failing background checks? To put it in context, the report said: “Years before the Odessa-Midland gunman went on a rampage that left seven dead and 25 injured, he was blocked from getting a gun. In 2014, the gunman failed a background check due to “mental health issues,” according to law enforcement. However, a loophole in the system meant his failed attempt to purchase a firearm was likely never investigated by law enforcement. He later bypassed a background check by purchasing firearms from a private seller.” One Facebook gun-selling page is owned by Steve ‘Doc’ Wacholz owner of ‘Cherokee Guns – who targeted congresswomen, calling them idiots and using their image to sell guns.
What this adds up to is that Facebook is:
- making it easy and desirable for people to buy a gun online;
- showing people ads encouraging them to want to have guns and concealed-carry permits (even if it is a scam);
- allowing disturbing footage of animals (even if some are just insects) to be shot and destroyed by everything from toy guns to automatic guns;
- teaching people how to restore rusted, broken guns to working order;
- normalizing gun ownership, discharging automatic weapons;
- allowing guns to be seen in a sexual context, with at least one offensive ad mashing up female nudity, sexuality – and the word ‘massacre’.
Facebook has many benefits; it has many flaws. But with these situations, it is clearly part of the gun problem.
Please contact Facebook through one of the channels below and give them the following message, personalized to your liking:
I am begging you to get the gun-selling, gun-glamorizing pages and ads off of Facebook. No profit can be worth the damage I consider Facebook to be doing.
Facebook is making it easier for people to get hold of guns, and with America’s gun toll last year 47,000 people shot, Facebook executives have to accept responsibility for the impact its gun content has. There are pages glorifying guns, showing how to make inoperable guns work, making guns seem ‘sexy’ to the very damaged and deluded, and pages with videos of wildlife being shot by semi-automatic weapons. Some Facebook users are bombarded by ads – at least one is a scam – offering concealed-carry permits – encouraging people to try and get them.
Facebook executives know how huge its influence is. Time to start being responsible about it. The current situation is unacceptable.
Or for Twitter:
@facebook Time for Facebook to get rid of the out-of-control gun sales, imagery, gun violence videos and other gun-glamorizing content. 47k Americans were shot in 2018 and Facebook is bombarding people with gun ads and content. You’re contributing to the carnage- time to change.
Once you have made contact, fill out the three fields below and click the orange banner to report taking action!