Facebook Temporarily Bans Ads for Weapons Accessories Ahead of Inauguration Day

Facebook Temporarily Bans Ads for Weapons Accessories Ahead of Inauguration Day
A 3D-printed Facebook logo is seen placed on a keyboard on March 25, 2020. (Dado Ruvic/Reuters)
Jack Phillips

Facebook announced it will temporarily ban advertisements for weapons accessories and protective gear following the Jan. 6 violence at the U.S. Capitol building and just days before Inauguration Day.

In a blog post, the Menlo Park, California-based firm said the ban will be in effect until at least Jan. 22.

“We already prohibit ads for weapons, ammunition and weapon enhancements like silencers,” the company wrote. “But we will now also prohibit ads for accessories such as gun safes, vests and gun holsters in the US.”

Before that, the company wrote that it is "monitoring for signals of violence or other threats" in Washington D.C. and in all 50 states.

"In the lead up to Inauguration Day, we have implemented a series of additional measures to continue preventing attempts to use our services for violence. This includes our ongoing pause on all political advertising," the firm wrote. "And, as we did in the weeks after the presidential election, we are promoting accurate information about the election and the violence at the Capitol instead of content that our systems predict may be less accurate, delegitimizes the election or portrays the rioters as victims. We have also implemented specific measures to reduce opportunities for abuse in Groups."

The Epoch Times reached out to Facebook for comment.

It came as three Democratic lawmakers, Sens. Tammy Duckworth (Ill.) Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), and Sherrod Brown (Ohio) wrote, "Facebook must hold itself accountable for how domestic enemies of the United States have used the company’s products and platform to further their own illicit aims."

They alleged, “Whether through negligence or with full knowledge, Facebook is placing profit ahead of our Nation’s democracy.”

Last Friday, the social media giant blocked the creation of new Facebook events near the White House and the Capitol in D.C., as well as state capitol buildings, until at least Jan. 20, the firm also said.

"Our operations center is also conducting a secondary review of all Facebook events related to the inauguration and removing ones that violate our policies. And, as we did in the lead up to and following the US presidential election, we are continuing to block event creation in the US by non-US based accounts and Pages," according to the platform.

The ad ban came after the company—as well as Twitter, Google, Twitch, and other Big Tech companies—suspended President Donald Trump's social media accounts.

The move by Twitter, Facebook, and Google to suspend the president drew considerable condemnation from conservatives as well as the American Civil Liberties Union, who has said it lays the groundwork for mass censorship on social media. As a result, alternative social media and chat websites such as Gab or Signal have reported significant increases in users in recent days.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: https://twitter.com/jackphillips5
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