After Facebook caved to pressure from gun control groups, the social media’s firearms communities are turning to other places to congregate and sell their guns.
Many moved quickly, setting up groups and spreading the word about the new outlets. “Reaction was swift among some Facebook gun trader groups, hundreds of which are based in the United States. Some of them immediately began advertising other gun-dealing websites,” writes the New York Daily News.
Some groups were shut down before owners and users could find alternative outlets.
“I just lost Cheap Guns Minnesota which had close to 18,000 members,” said a user by the name of “The Guard Dog.” “So PLEASE spread the word about this site to every group in EVERY state.”
The administrator of the Facebook group Central Florida Gun Talk changed its name to Central Florida on Monday and directed the group’s 2,055 members to another site outside Facebook set up quickly in response to the ban.
Is it a good thing that Facebook made the move to ban gun sales on their website? One user said the gun community had “grown dependent” on Facebook. Of course, Facebook is a private company and has the right to decide what it will and won’t allow on its property. But could this backfire against the social media giant? It might, predict some users.
Facebook said they notified users ahead of time that the ban was coming. They will rely on user reports of people breaking the ban and determining what sites to delete or restrict.
Licensed gun dealers will still be able to sell guns via Facebook.
The anti-gun group Everytown for Gun Safety is taking their victory lap.
“It’s really significant for them to say, ‘not on our platform,'” said Erika Soto Lamb, a spokeswoman for the group.