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Despite ban, gun sales are running rampant on Facebook

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    Despite ban, gun sales are running rampant on Facebook

    Despite ban, gun sales are running rampant on Facebook — how activists are fighting back

    There was a Facebook group labeled “We’re Definitely Not Selling Guns,” with the description telling its members, “do not sell guns and definitely do not mention how much you would want if you were to sell your gun.”

    John Sibley, a gun control activist, reported it — just one of hundreds he had seen that day.

    Facebook’s major decision on Jan. 29 to ban private gun sales on its website and on Instagram seemed to be more of a warning shot than an end to the weapons marketplace on social media.

    In the wake of the Orlando shooting and after mounting frustrations on the lack of gun control in the United States, Sibley said he had felt helpless for long enough.

    He saw a tweet from Mike Monteiro, calling out Facebook’s apathetic effort toward controlling gun sales on its website.

    “We have a giant problem here,” Monteiro said. “You have private individuals publicly selling AR-15s on the most popular website in the world.”

    Rather than an automated algorithm to root out and ban the sellers, Facebook has relied on a community-based system, only taking action when users report the hordes of gun sales that are online.

    The two took it upon themselves to start reporting these groups violating the site’s policy if Facebook wasn’t going to look for them.

    “We’re wasting a lot of time, and some of us are putting ourselves at risk for something they could be doing,” Sibley said. “If Facebook were serious about their policy, they’d be doing it themselves, and that’s upsetting.”

    Sibley, who said his record for a single day was getting 120 groups removed, estimates he’s gotten 727 pages taken down from Facebook since he started on June 17.

    He told the Daily News he’s able to report five groups in less than a minute, or about one every 12 seconds — and he shared his method on a Medium post, which has since been viewed more than 7,200 times.

    Sibley estimates up to 2,000 gun sale groups have been removed since publishing his guide.

    Monteiro, based in San Francisco, has never met Sibley, who lives in the South Bronx. But together, they have been at the forefront of #ReportGate — the hashtag the advocates have adopted. John Sibley, from the South Bronx, wrote a guide on how to mass report gun sales on Facebook.

    (Megan Clark)
    Monteiro, a designer, said the ultimate goal is to inspire people online to take up the task and report as many gun groups as they can find.

    “It’s easy, man. You can do it while you’re on the bus, you can do it while you’re on the toilet,” he said. “I’ve been telling people to report gun groups during commercials.”

    The greatest benefit, he said, is it empowers people to become activists, and no longer feel helpless in the fight for gun control.

    “The important thing is, we have convinced someone sitting at home that they can make a difference,” he said.

    On social media, Monteiro and Sibley have been receiving photos from users showing off how many pages they’ve reported.

    The two aren't the first ones to do this, as affiliates with the Everytown for Gun Safety have privately met in Facebook groups, organizing national efforts to take down these gun sale groups, Forbes reported.

    Some groups have caught on to the digital vigilantes, and made thinly-veiled attempts at hiding, like posting photos of miscellaneous items like clocks or ketchup bottles next to guns, and claiming to sell the random object.

    Sibley said those pages, as well as the ones claiming to sell “Pew Pews” instead of guns, are usually taken down, if there’s an active moderator handling the report. The process varies, depending on the moderator, sometimes taking up to 3 to 4 days to find out if a group's been banned.

    Gun supporters have fought back against Sibley and Monteiro’s efforts, sending death threats and menacing claims to release their personal information.

    Monteiro’s Facebook account has been banned twice from posting now, after gun advocates reported his account multiple times.

    “I don’t really care, I can still go in and report gun posts, that’s all I really want to do,” he said.

    The two said while they’ve been public and vocal about this issue, there are hundreds that are worried about retaliation.

    When he started reporting these pages, Sibley felt overwhelmed by the seemingly endless amount of gun sales.

    They estimate there are still thousands of gun groups violating Facebook’s policy, and it’s only the tip of the iceberg, since secret groups cannot be found by searches.

    And of the ones that do get taken down, several of them end up right back online.

    It’s estimated that as many as 80% of groups that were taken down were brought back up since, according to Forbes.

    “I have no doubt that the majority of the groups that we get kicked off get back on,” Monteiro said. “But if it’s 80%, that’s still 20% that we got rid of.”

    Facebook did not respond to the Daily News’s request for comment, but the company has told Forbes its self-reporting system is sufficient.
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    Pat ------> NRA Lifetime Endowment Member #FAAFO

    I've deleted my facebook, and you should too. No more money for Cuckerberg.


      I did that long ago. Colossal waste of time.


        One step ahead. I never had one


          I can tell you from first hand experience, firearms sales are stronger than ever on FB via private groups


            How does Mr. Sibley have time to do this with Mr. Kuntzman's cock in his mouth?
            NRA Benefactor Life
            NRA Instructor & RSO
            NYSRPA, SAF, GOA


              Deleted my Facebook account years ago. not so much for political reasons but was tired of people that "knew" me sending me stupid shit and sending daily updates on their lives. Couldn't take it anymore and not to mention it's just retarded. I realized a long time ago that I am friends with the people I speak with for a reason and that if someone wanted to contact me and I was friends with them, they'd already have my information. If not, it meant I couldn't care less


                If I sold any firearms I'd try Facebook first.
                i really want to buy 1 through them now.
                any advice how to do it?
                "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." Martin Luther King, Jr.


                  Originally posted by Aquabach View Post
                  If I sold any firearms I'd try Facebook first.
                  i really want to buy 1 through them now.
                  any advice how to do it?

                  I can hook you up


                    Fuck Facebook. ..


                      Originally posted by Li02liberty View Post
                      One step ahead. I never had one


                        Sibley and monteiro are colossal douches. It's perfectly legal in most states to privately transfer/sell firearms. Doesn't matter the medium in which the buyer and seller meet. Fucknuts. I loathe and despise people that try to stifle the rights of Americans.
                        Last edited by sheeple; 07-04-2016, 06:15 AM.
                        “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are." - Benjamin Franklin


                          Originally posted by Heartlessmcfly View Post

                          I can hook you up
                          Anything to piss on a liberal douchery like face book is a good thing.
                          we'll talk

                          "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." Martin Luther King, Jr.