Once Upon a Facebook

A fun fable for you. After my last post, Facebook sent me a notification that one my posts from 2015 had been removed because it violated their Community Standards. Now, keep in mind this post was from OVER seven years ago, on a page I no longer administer, did not violate any terms or conditions at the time and is still being done today. Yet suddenly, the sensors at Facebook decide it NOW violates policy and took action to delete it… Really Facebook? 

Jumping in our wayback machine to 2015, I was the general manager for a teeny tiny little firearms shop. As everyone did then, and many continue doing today, I posted pictures, descriptions and prices for firearms to generate interest and increase traffic at the store. And like every other FFL (Federal Firearms Licensee) then and now, anyone interested had to come into the registered retail location with all the required identification documents, complete a federal form 4473, plus all the other Kalifornistan only materials, pass a background check and wait the required “cooling off” period to get their firearm. 

Also mentioned in my social media posts were shout-outs to the other retailers in complex, local community events, various educational and shooting opportunities, as well as training for Women on Target and youth in the area. I also baked cookies for the customers, but only on Wednesday. CLEARLY I am the rogue employee/crazed gun nut that needed to be censored! 

To say FacistBook doesn’t like firearms is an understatement. They have gone to great lengths to remove, disrupt, demonetize and restrict the distribution on everything legal firearm related on all their social media platforms.

But have they? Well, yes and no. Knowing firearm retailers across the country, I’ve seen posts removed and accounts cancelled, but others doing the exact same thing left untouched. The very same post of mine that was deleted has been repeated almost verbatim all over the country and most of the time it’s fine. One friend of mine had a warning message on his firearm business page saying this account has been associated with unlawful person-to-person sales of firearms. This is a firearm retailer, so someone obviously was stretching things a bit. 

There used to be a time when firearm retailers were okay as long as they didn’t mention the price, or display pictures of the firearm, or showed the firearms being used, or some odd combination of the three. But Facebook is so incredibly inconsistent, and their Terms of Use or Community Standards are so vague, nothing or everything could possibly be a violation, or not, depending on how they feel on that particular day. And appealing a take down or account revocation decision was nearly impossible unless you knew that ONE person on the inside that didn’t hate firearms. 

So why are some firearm posts okay for some but not for all. I truly believe it has everything to do with whether a retailer has been adopted by a secret Karen. You know the type. The one who sits back and scours each and every post and comment looking for something that just might violate those nebulous Community Standards, or at the very least offend said Karen personally. From that point on, the retailer is marked and pretty much everything they do is going to be a violation of something, even if it’s not. 

Just think about this. How deep would someone have had to look at me (Odd Stuffing > my personal profile > posts I’ve made > as administrator of a page I no longer have access to) to come up with “goes against our Community Standards” more than seven years ago? THAT is MOTIVATED!!! 

For better or worse, Facebook is the predominant social media platform and until someone can successfully fight their way past the cartel of leading technology companies who control the market, they will continue to exert their own special morality upon everyone. 

For the thousands and thousands of lawful and respectable firearm retailers out there, keep up the fight the best you can. The tide is slowly turning so continue to do your part. 

As for me, it’s not Wednesday, but I think I’m going to go make some cookies.

Bob

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