Guns Being Sold on Facebook Marketplace
Facebook's new sales section has some issues.
Would you buy a gun from someone on Facebook? A new section of the site called Facebook Marketplace seems to make that possible, at least in the future. Facebook recently opened a new section of their social network called Marketplace. This area is for people who have products to sell or who want to buy, similar to the marketplace Craigslist. Sellers set up a marketplace and Facebook users can easily shop on the social network.
What Facebook did not consider is how they would control what is being sold on Facebook. It didn’t take too long before people started selling drugs, guns, and even…babies. While we are gun advocates, we don’t want guns getting into the wrong hands. There’s a reason guns are sold by licensed gun sellers. There’s a process that every gun purchaser needs to go through to ensure he or she will be responsible with it.
Facebook has been seeing a downturn in usage. People aren’t posting images and status updates as much as they did last year and the previous year. The social network wondered if adding this ecommerce section to their network would spark more activity on the site. Unfortunately, a survey showed only 1 out of 5 customers are interested in using it. This may have something to do with some of the technical issues Facebook has admitted to, including the allowance of guns being sold on the network. Guns are not allowed for sale on Facebook, however, we have seen reports where guns are indeed offered for sale on Facebook through the usual Newsfeed. Facebook says they remove these listings when they see them, but it often takes them a while to do so.
Facebook does state it will be correcting issues that have arisen due to their haphazard launch. It will then be able to stop sellers from selling guns to everyone, and keep illegal guns off the site.
With Facebook trying Facebook Marketplace, it does bring up an important consideration – is it possible to be able to buy guns on Facebook? Maybe. People purchase guns online all of the time. The same thing can be done online as it is done in person, especially with the technological advancements that have come about in the last couple of years.
As long as sellers are authorized to sell guns, perform background checks, and confirm the identity of the person purchasing the guns, it’s not a problem. This can probably done with Facebook, but it’s going to take some time for Facebook to design a way to confirm the eligibility of gun sellers to sell them on their site. Until then, gun sellers will have to stick with their website to sell their guns. They can always simply use Facebook to advertise their website and drive traffic there.
For now, guns will be staying off Facebook Marketplace, which seems like the best choice until these problems get worked out.