Welcome!

News Feed Item

Moms Demand Action Applauds Major Moves by Facebook, Instagram to Prevent Illegal Gun Sales on Their Sites

New Policies Follow Moms' Campaign - 230,000 Supporters Call On Companies to Stop Facilitating Illegal Sales to Minors, Felons and Other Dangerous Prohibited Gun Purchasers

INDIANAPOLIS, March 5, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Facebook announced today that the company and its popular photo-sharing subsidiary Instagram will take significant steps to block potentially illegal firearm sales through their platforms.  For the first time, the sites will delete reported posts offering to buy or sell guns without background checks – a key indicator that users may be seeking to avoid the life-saving checks that bar minors, felons, the seriously mentally ill and other dangerous people from buying guns.  The sites will also block users under the age of 18 from viewing reported private gun sales posts from individual sellers and any pages used primarily for private gun offers.

The Facebook announcement follows a month-long campaign by Moms Demand Action that quickly drew more than 230,000 supporters who urged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom to address the growing number of illegal gun sales facilitated by their networks.  Direct discussions took place between officials of Facebook and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bipartisan national coalition founded by former Mayors Michael Bloomberg and Thomas Menino.  The moms and mayors' groups merged in December 2013 to form the largest gun violence prevention organization in the United States.  This is the second corporate victory for Moms Demand Action, which last year mounted a campaign on Starbucks that resulted in a statement by CEO Howard Schultz that guns were no longer welcome in his stores.

In response to the announcement, Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts and Mayors Against Illegal Guns chairman John Feinblatt issued the below statements and will speak on a media conference call today with Facebook's Head of Global Policy Management Monika Bickert and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman at 1:00 PM EST to discuss the policy changes – please email [email protected] for details on the call.

Watts: "American moms are gratified that Facebook and Instagram have agreed to take meaningful steps to prevent illegal gun sales to children and dangerous people on its platforms. 

"Our campaign showed how easy it is for minors, felons and other dangerous people to get guns online – that's why moms and more than 230,000 Americans signed our petition, tweeted and used social media to ask Facebook and Instagram to do something about gun sales facilitated on their networks. We are happy that these companies listened to American mothers and we believe these changes are a major step toward making sure people who buy or sell guns on their platforms know the law, and follow it.  Moms are particularly pleased that Facebook will block minors from seeing posts about gun sales or trades, and that we can be confident that these social networks will be safe spaces for our kids.   

"There's still so much to be done – by corporations, by Congress, and by local leaders – to keep guns out of dangerous hands. Moms have momentum and we're moving the country toward a culture of gun safety one company, one legislator, one law at a time.   We're going to keep applying pressure to corporations and political leaders until they do more to reduce the gun violence that plagues our country.  We're not going away, and we will not stop until we've done everything we can to keep our children and communities safe."

Feinblatt: "Our campaign exposed how simple it is for dangerous people to get their hands on guns, no questions asked – not only on Facebook and Instagram – but across the Internet.  Unfortunately, the 'private sale loophole' allows anonymous parties to sell guns without background checks, and there are simply too many ways for criminals, minors and other prohibited gun purchasers to get them easily – with just the click of a mouse.  We are grateful that Facebook and Instagram are making major moves to prevent these sales from happening via their platforms. We will remain vigilant in our efforts to draw attention to these critical safety issues and hold corporations and political leaders accountable to do their part to prevent gun violence."

Among the significant policy changes Facebook and Instagram have agreed to implement to prevent easy access to guns on its platforms are the following: 

  • Facebook will block all children (under 18) from viewing reported posts from individual gun sellers or gun pages where guns are sold or traded. 
  • Facebook will allow users to report posts that may facilitate or promote potentially illegal gun activity.
  • Facebook will delete reported posts that indicate that the seller will not conduct a background check or that a buyer is seeking to avoid a background check.
  • Facebook will delete reported posts that indicate that a seller is willing to sell across state lines. 
  • Facebook will continue to report to law enforcement any gun-related posts that may pose a threat to public safety.
  • Facebook will require private sellers who are reported for offering a gun for sale to acknowledge the relevant laws that apply to them – including that background checks may be required before completing a sale. These sellers will be blocked by Facebook from continuing to the site until they acknowledge this policy.
  • All Facebook Pages and groups must prominently state that sellers and buyers must comply with all applicable laws, including conducting a background check where required. Facebook will take down reported pages and groups where guns are sold until the owner of the page acknowledges this policy and includes this information prominently at the top of the page. Facebook's Help Center will remind sellers that they may conduct background checks for safety purposes even where not legally required.
  • When someone searches on Instagram for a hashtag related to gun offers (e.g. #guns4sale) they will be required to acknowledge the relevant laws that apply to them in this area before they see search results.
  • Facebook will provide public education ad space targeted at users interested in firearm-related content to ensure they know about the laws related to gun sales.  Moms Demand Action and Mayors Against Illegal Guns will provide content for these ads. 

Facebook and Instagram's policy changes were made in response to a campaign by Moms Demand Action launched on January 27, which was joined by partner organization SumOfUs and promoted on Change.org. As part of the campaign, Moms released a "closer look" video to riff on Facebook's 10th anniversary "look back" videos to explain how Facebook's previous policies made it easy for guns to be bought and sold online without criminal background checks.  The video has been viewed nearly 400,000 times.

Moms also brought to light cases of minors and felons buying guns on Facebook.  

Previous research by Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that criminals are flocking to the internet to buy guns – on one site, one in 30 prospective gun buyers on online had committed crimes that prohibited them from possessing firearms. 

About Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
Much like Mothers Against Drunk Driving was created to change laws regarding drunk driving, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was created to build support for common-sense gun reforms. The nonpartisan grassroots movement of American mothers is demanding new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our children and families. In just one year, the organization has more than 140,000 members with a chapter in every state in the country. The group recently joined forces with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country. For more information or to get involved visit www.momsdemandaction.org. Follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/MomsDemandAction or on Twitter @MomsDemand.

CONTACT:
Erika Soto Lamb, [email protected] or 646.580.5281
Stacey Radnor, [email protected] or 202.870.6668

SOURCE Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Channels will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The bedrock of Secure Channels Technology is a uniquely modified and enhanced process based on superencipherment. Superencipherment is the process of encrypting an already encrypted message one or more times, either using the same or a different algorithm.
Traditional on-premises data centers have long been the domain of modern data platforms like Apache Hadoop, meaning companies who build their business on public cloud were challenged to run Big Data processing and analytics at scale. But recent advancements in Hadoop performance, security, and most importantly cloud-native integrations, are giving organizations the ability to truly gain value from all their data. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, David Tishgart, Director of Product Marketing ...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
SYS-CON Events announced today the Kubernetes and Google Container Engine Workshop, being held November 3, 2016, in conjunction with @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele introduces participants to Kubernetes and Google Container Engine (GKE). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, students learn the key concepts and practices for deploying and maintainin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...