The National Rifle Association has nearly 4.7 million fans on Facebook, but the pro-guns organization probably isn't the biggest fan of Facebook tonight.
The social networking company revealed on Friday evening that it is imposing a global ban on private gun sales via its platform as well as on Instagram, the burgeoning photo-sharing app it owns. The move won't affect licensed retailers, which can continue to market firearms on Facebook while completing transactions away from the social platform, said a spokespeson for the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company. The measure is instead aimed to stop "'peer-to-peer' sales of weapons" on the site, the rep told Adweek in an email.
"Today, we are updating our policies for managing regulated goods to prohibit people from using Facebook to offer and coordinate private sales of firearms," the Facebook spokesperson said. "The updated policy aligns more closely with our policies around commerce and advertising, which place similar restrictions on advertisements of regulated goods including pharmaceuticals, illegal drugs, and firearms."
With the move, Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg fall in line with online marketplace eBay and digital classifieds player Craigslist in forbidding the private sale of guns on their respective sites.
The Facebook development was first reported by Reuters.