• BIG BROTHER: Facebook Bans Gun Sales… And Is Watching You

    From the New York Times:

    Facebook is banning private sales of guns on its flagship social network and its Instagram photo-sharing service, a move meant to clamp down on unlicensed gun transactions.

    Facebook already prohibits people from offering marijuana, pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs for sale, and the company said on Friday that it was updating its policy to include guns. The ban applies to private, person-to-person sales of guns. Licensed gun dealers and gun clubs can still maintain Facebook pages and post on Instagram.

    Although Facebook was not directly involved in gun sales, it has served as a forum for gun sales to be negotiated, without people having to undergo background checks. The social network, with 1.6 billion monthly visitors, had become one of the world’s largest marketplaces for guns and was increasingly evolving into an e-commerce site where it could facilitate transactions of goods.

    As if that wasn’t bad enough, it gets worse. Millions of gun enthusiasts meet on Facebook to discuss all things guns and to post items for sale. Here is the creepy part.

    How is Facebook going to police this new ban? What is to stop a couple friends from using the public social media platform to discuss a firearm purchase?

    An elaborate system of watching of course. Facebook users are to watch and turn in offenders. That’s right folks, turn in your friends. Welcome to the Hitler Youth program Facebook style.

    Facebook said it would rely on its vast network of users to report any violations of the new rules, and would remove any post that violated the policy. Beyond that, the company said it could ban users or severely limit the ways they post on Facebook, depending on the type and severity of past violations. If the company believed someone’s life was in danger, Facebook would work with law enforcement on the situation.

    Facebook will also rely on user reports of private gun sales that occur between members via Facebook Messenger, the company’s private messaging service. Facebook does not scan the content of those messages.

    “Over the last two years, more and more people have been using Facebook to discover products and to buy and sell things to one another,” Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of product policy, said in a statement. “We are continuing to develop, test and launch new products to make this experience even better for people and are updating our regulated goods policies to reflect this evolution.”

    Never forget. Big brother is watching. You will be forced to get into line and submit.

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