Social media and tech companies have been under a great deal of scrutiny this week, with CEOs like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress about alleged anti-trust activities and anti-conservative bias. During his testimoney Zuckerberg denied that Facebook has targeted conservatives for their social media postings, but according to the Greenville News, several Facebook users have recently claimed that the company is going after users for their support for the NRA.
Several Facebook users posted the claim, and it was widely shared in late June and earlier this month:
“Facebook said that if you support the NRA you will get kicked off,” the post reads. “Well let’s experiment. I Support the NRA how about you?”
A Facebook spokesperson this week denied it.
“(The post) is not true and does not violate our community standards,” Brittany Uter, a Facebook spokesperson, said.
There are some legitimate complaints to be made when it comes to Facebook’s policies regarding firearms, but this isn’t one of them. In fact, I’m not sure how this even became a thing, given the fact that the “experiment” conducted by Facebook users didn’t result in any of them being banned from the platform. Additionally, if Facebook were going to ban users for supporting the NRA, you’d think that Facebook would have started by banning the NRA itself, but the organization’s Facebook page is still up and running, with nearly 5-million followers.
Having said that, there are a couple of things that Facebook could do to become more Second Amendment friendly. For starters, the company could change its policy and allow gun stores and firearm manufacturers to actually advertise on the platform, instead of banning the practice. There’s no reason why a legitimate company selling a legal product should be blocked from advertising on the biggest social media outlet in the world, particularly when companies promoting things like scopes, sights, gun safes, and firearms training classes are all allowed to buy ads for their products (though they must limit their advertising reach to those over the age of 18).
Not being allowed to advertise isn’t the same as not being allowed to post, however, and Second Amendment supporters, both individuals and companies, are still free to sound off on the right to keep and bear arms on Facebook. You can show your support for the NRA with every post if you like and Mark Zuckerberg’s not going to try to shut down your account, though your anti-gun friends and relatives might give you a hard time.