Facebook Founder Questioned About Gun Sales
Mark Zuckerberg fields questions from Sen. Markey
News outlets are reporting that the sniper in the Dallas shootings targeting police officers previously arranged to buy an AK-47 over Facebook. As a result, on Wednesday Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey took the Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, to task over the social media site’s position on gun sales.
Sen. Markey also focused his concern on Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, urging both social media masters to take steps to prevent their platforms from being used to arrange gun sales.
Apparently, the attempts by the sniper to buy the gun for the shooting from Facebook were unsuccessful, but the Senator stressed that the possibility requires the leaders to evaluate their policies and make it clear that gun sales are not permitted. You can read the full text of Senator Markey’s letter, but here are some excerpts of questions he asks to make his point clear:
Are Facebook and Instagram users still able to post content (photos, messages in groups, status updates on personal pages, etc.) in furtherance of gun sales?
What steps did Facebook and Instagram take to implement Facebook’s 2014 announced policy change intended to address gun sales?
Between 2014, when Facebook announced policy changes intended to address gun sales on Facebook and Instagram, and early 2016 when Facebook announced it would ban gun sales on its platform and on Instagram, how many Facebook and Instagram users attempted to post content in furtherance of a gun sale?
Since the beginning of 2016, has Facebook shut down any “groups” or accounts promoting or facilitating gun sales?
From 2014 through the present, how many requests have Facebook and Instagram received from law enforcement for assistance investigating gun sales, including requests for records?
In one search, Guns Today was able to find several public posts on Facebook indicating that guns were for sale, simply by typing the words “pistol for sale” and “Glock for sale” into the search bar. Facebook’s policy states that they remove these posts as soon as they become aware of them. “We prohibit people from using Facebook to offer and coordinate private sales of firearms. Any content that violates this policy will be removed as soon as we become aware of it – whether it is in groups, on profiles, or on pages,” the statement says, in response to Sen. Markey’s concerns.