Is Facebook Considering a Ban on Gun-Related Fan Pages?

Facebook could soon be changing its policy concerning pro gun-related pages after a recent arrest involving a 15-year-old high school student carrying a loaded gun was traced back to a transaction that may have involved the teen’s friendship with a man he met through Facebook.

Anti-gun groups such as Mayors Against illegal Guns and the Moms Demand Action civic group, might also be involved. According to sources mentioned by VentureBeat, Facebook has been under pressure of the previously mentioned groups to ban gun-themed fan pages on the social media site as of late.

Both groups reportedly want to pressure the company to change its policies with the help of a petition started by Moms Demand Action that gathered over 94,000 signatures so far. The petition has only one goal: keeping Facebook “out of the gun business.”

The company issued a statement defending that users are not allowed to use the platform to sell or buy firearms, just like they cannot “promote the sale or use of weapons in advertising.” Facebook stated that illegal activities should be reported immediately to the social media administration with the help of readily available Facebook reporting tools, making it easier for them to address any potential issue promptly.

While Facebook is a private company and its executives are free to decide to stir their policies toward the direction that strikes their fancy, banning gun-related fan pages could eventually backfire.

The National Rifle Association’s fan page on Facebook, for an instance, has over 3 million likes. Banning the creation of fan pages dedicated to the gun rights debate might not be received well by millions of Facebook users, which could eventually turn into a PR nightmare.

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