Thursday, March 6, 2014

Facebook's Official Statement on the Policy Change

fb dot com

posted especially for Kurt's edification (check the date below, Kurt)

March 05, 2014
Monika Bickert, Head of Global Policy Management

Facebook, at its heart, is about helping people connect and communicate. Because of the diversity of people and cultures on our services, we know that people sometimes post or share things that may be controversial or objectionable. We work hard to find a balance between enabling people to express themselves about topics that are important to them, and creating an environment that is safe and respectful.

This balance is important to how we view commercial activity on Facebook or Instagram. We have strict rules about how businesses can use our advertising tools. For example, we do not permit advertising for illegal drugs, tobacco products, prescription pharmaceuticals, weapons, and several other products and services, and restrict advertising for products such as alcohol, adult products, and gaming. In all cases, we have systems in place to review and remove advertising that violates our policies, is false, deceptive, or misleading.

Of course, most of our tools are free to use, and many people and organizations use them to establish a presence on Facebook, including to promote commercial transactions. While people can't use our services to actually sell things to each other, they can set up a Page or make an occasional post to their Timeline to find a roommate, sell a home, or solicit contributions for a church or nonprofit organization. Just like posting on a bulletin board at a supermarket or community center, these activities may be considered commercial, but we treat this type of sharing like any other type of sharing on our services - and we respond to reports when something violates our Community Standards.

People sometimes use our free tools to discuss products that are regulated or controversial. In some cases they promote these products for sale or use, even though it's not possible to complete a sale on Facebook or Instagram. While we've recently heard specific concerns from people about offers for the private sales of firearms, this is one of many areas where we face a difficult challenge balancing individuals' desire to express themselves on our services, and recognizing that this speech may have consequences elsewhere.

Today, we are introducing a series of new educational and enforcement efforts for people discussing the private sale of regulated items:
  • Any time we receive a report on Facebook about a post promoting the private sale of a commonly regulated item, we will send a message to that person reminding him or her to comply with relevant laws and regulations. We will also limit access to that post to people over the age of 18.
  • We will require Pages that are primarily used by people to promote the private sale of commonly regulated goods or services to include language that clearly reminds people of the importance of understanding and complying with relevant laws and regulations, and limit access to people over the age of 18 or older if required by applicable law.
  • We will provide special in-app education on Instagram for those who search for sales or promotions of firearms.
  • We will not permit people to post offers to sell regulated items that indicate a willingness to evade or help others evade the law. For example, private sellers of firearms in the U.S. will not be permitted to specify “no background check required,” nor can they offer to transact across state lines without a licensed firearms dealer.
We have worked with a number of individuals and organizations on the development of these efforts, which will be implemented and enforced in the coming weeks. We are grateful in particular for the advice offered by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Americans for Responsible Solutions, Sandy Hook Promise, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and Moms Demand Action, which helped us develop an approach for the private sale of firearms. We also appreciate the feedback provided by the Facebook Safety Advisory Board.

As always, we encourage people who see anything that violates our policies to report it to us using the tools found throughout our services. Facebook and Instagram will continue to remove content, and notify law enforcement where appropriate, when we are notified about things shared on our services that suggest a direct, credible risk to others’ safety. We will also continue to strictly enforce our advertising policies.

We believe these collective efforts represent the right approach in balancing people's desire to express themselves while promoting a safe, responsible community.


  1. By all means, call that a "victory" if you want. I hope all of the forcible citizen disarmament camp's "victories" in the future are of equal magnitude.

    1. Hahahahahaha. It's more than a victory. It's a symbol. The most popular social network on the planet knows what's what with your so-called gun rights.

    2. Oh, that's even better. Now you're claiming a symbolic victory is better than an actual victory--that's conveniently good news for you and the Bloomberg Moms (BMs).

      Enjoy your symbol.

    3. Kurt you are a moron.

      There are NO forcible citizen disarmament camps, no confiscation of guns, nothing but bloviating factually deficient claims by idiots like you who apparently get a thrill out of imagining such nonsense.

      We all will enjoy the symbol and enjoy the reality.

      MikeB, that no-gun-confiscations-in CT, NJ, NY post is ready for cross posting - in case the willfully ignorant and self-deceivers like Kurt here want some factual information.

    4. . . . want some factual information.

      I'm always receptive to factual information. So apparently this was written by the anti-matter opposite version of you, from a parallel universe?

    5. It's interesting that Dog Gone feels free to use sexual and intellectual slurs that I'm presuming she wouldn't tolerate if she heard someone else using them. Moron, for example. That's such a fine word for a self-professed progressive to use.

    6. Despised by the despicable, Greg. I wear her contempt like the badge of honor that it is. If she had any respect for me, I'd wonder what I was doing wrong.

    7. Greg, I saw the intellectual slurs, but what were the sexual ones?

      "sexual and intellectual slurs "

    8. I'm talking about things she's said in the past, specifically how she addresses me.

  2. Translated: as long as you're complying with the law--i.e. conducting private sales only with residents of your state, you'll still be able to carry on as normal.

    1. And the consequence of someone suspecting an illegal sale and complaining, is that you'll receive an automatically generated mildly worded email remaining you to follow the law. The Moms are going to be pretty busing putting in those complaints to get the action they so demand.

    2. For me, the most hilarious part of this is Mikeb triumphantly posting Facebook's old policy as the "victory" here.

      Yep--the new policy is such a radical departure from the old that Mikeb couldn't tell them apart.

      I don't care who you are--that's funny.

    3. Mike's idiocy is full of laughs

    4. It's nice that you don't think so. Of course, that doesn't matter, much like this policy. My interpretation of that is in line with the Brady Campaign's evaluation of this development as well.

    5. You caught me on that one, Kurt. That's your big victory.

      Of course, at the time I posted to old policy by mistake, you were denying the whole thing. Remember I told you to wake up?

    6. Remember I told you to wake up?

      Yeah, I remember. You said that after I asked what the hell you were talking about when you said "turns out it wasn't a lie," in response to my mention of the Bloomberg Moms' (BMs) lie about a "victory" in Staples. I knew about their supposed "victory" with regard to Facebook (the one that has the Brady Bunch so upset), and am serenely untroubled by it.

    7. Golly, Mike! Still making up lies about Kurt, saying he was claiming that nothing happened at Facebook? Even after it's been pointed out that you're wrong and that the lie he was talking about was their lie about Staples?

  3. The first paragraph is a bunch of Corporatespeak blather to say that Facebook does whatever it damn well chooses to make itself money. The rest of it is a lot more blather to say that well, shucks, if you guys want to sell guns, we're going to make you read a public service announcement first.