Facebook: Shut Down Marketplace Until You End Gun Sales

Following an alarming report in the Wall Street Journal detailing how sellers are sneaking dangerous firearms onto Facebook’s Marketplace, we are calling on Facebook to shut down its Marketplace until it can develop a system for ensuring that nobody can sell deadly weapons on its platform ever again.

When Facebook launched its Marketplace in 2016, the company instituted a strict policy prohibiting the sale of guns or other weapons. But now, a shocking story reveals that gun sellers from across the country are using the social networking giant to secretly sell firearms, including dangerous weapons of war that include multiple high capacity magazines.

New reporting from the Wall Street Journal has uncovered an entire black market of people using the Facebook Marketplace to sell guns all across the country. That means that individuals who are barred from owning guns can easily circumvent the law by using Facebook to arrange private transfers without any oversight.

How do they get away with it? By posting “gun cases” at inflated prices, signaling to buyers that they are selling something far deadlier instead. The buyer and seller then exchange messages through private text to arrange the private firearm sales.

Our own searches revealed that some users are even less subtle about their real intentions:

And once you’ve perused a few such items, Facebook even starts to recommend them to you.

Given our nation’s loose gun laws and the growing danger of gun violence in America, Facebook has a responsibility to guarantee that nobody is able to sell deadly weapons on its platform. Platforms like eBay appeared to have stripped their sites off guns. We can’t allow the world’s largest social media platform to become the world’s largest black market gun bazaar. Facebook must take immediate action.

Guns Down Guns Down