Facebook recently informed one of the nation’s major firearms resellers that it won’t allow the dealer to advertise for firearms-related security items such as gun safes. The social media network already has a no-advertising policy in place concerning actual firearms, but it is using a strict interpretation of that policy to shut the door on ads that actually encourage firearm safety.
A recent Veterans Day-themed ad from the Hyatt Gun Shop in Charlotte, North Carolina, didn’t feature guns — only safes and vaults. But the company was notified its seemingly innocuous ad couldn’t be promoted on Facebook because it violated the site’s ad policy on firearms.
“[W]hen they went to place the ad, a note from ‘Vanessa’ at Facebook shot it down,” Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard reported Tuesday:
Your ad was rejected because it violates the Ad Guidelines. Ads may not promote firearms, ammunition or weapons (ex: paintball guns, BB guns, knives, etc)…This decision is final. Please consider this the end of our correspondence about your ad.
In order for such an ad to be considered a violation, one must assume Facebook strictly interpreted its own policy’s language prohibiting advertising that “directly or indirectly link[s] to landing pages where people can purchase any of these products.” However, the same policy regards “images of weapons” as “generally acceptable, as long as the weapon is not pointed directly at the person seeing it.”
“It cannot be stressed strongly enough,” Hyatt’s director of marketing told the Examiner. “Guns need to be secured from unauthorized use. We cannot understand why Facebook would deny us the ability to promote this sale and help gun owners to secure their firearms.”