Facebook recently instituted a new content policy that it would not show gun accessory advertisements to users who are under the age of 18.
Facebook updates its advertising content policy page
Facebook has been under a lot of pressure in recent months. The Cambridge Analytica scandal, which exploited the private information of almost 90 million users, greatly harmed the reputation of both the company and its chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg.
The scandal was one of the major reasons why the social network decided to take some stringent steps to combat issues like fake news, hate speech, terrorism and harassment on its platform.
Starting this week, Facebook will first confirm if a user is at least 18 years old and only then allow him or her to view ads for gun holsters and belt accessories. The company had previously prohibited ads for sales of guns and weapon modifications.
The social networking site has updated its advertising policy page and included examples of what kind of weapon ads are allowed on the platform and what kind of ads are not allowed. For example, ads for gun slings, gun paint and gun cases are allowed, but with the age restriction. Moreover, ads for paintball guns, ammunition or BB guns are not allowed on the platform at all.
New content policy went into effect June 21
Recently, Facebook had to apologize for accidentally making the private posts of 14 million users public and for taking around four days to fix the error. Moreover, the tech company had issues with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the new regulatory framework of data rules for European users.
The new policy comes at a time when the United States is entangled in a nationwide discussion over gun and firearm reform. The debate has intensified because of mass shootings, including school attacks in Santa Fe, Texas, and Parkland, Florida. Facebook’s new ad policy could irritate Second Amendment advocates and conservatives, and there are some who have accused the company of liberal bias and the suppression of conservative voices.