The Prying Business of Facebook and Guns

By Tom McHale

Censored By Facebook
Censored By Facebook
Tom McHale headshot low-res square
Tom McHale

USA –-( Some guy who fondles an inflatable spheroid with his feet gets 23.2 times more love from Facebook than all the fans of the National Rifle Association combined. True or False?

We’ll answer that question in a minute. For now, let’s talk about the realities of this most recent Facebook kerfluffle. You know, the recently announced a policy change that will ban Facebook content related to the buying and selling of guns. This issue has been talked about plenty, so I’ll just summarize the details here.

While perfectly legal, Facebook will no longer allow people like you and me to post content about guns for sale or trade unless we’re federally licensed gun dealers.

The devil is always in the details, especially since Facebook is relying on user snitching to find and remove said content.

That’s right, you can bet your morning Eggo Waffles that the anti-gun folks will be out trolling Facebook content in force to gleefully turn in so-called violators.

Heck, they’re already turning in pages and groups that have nothing to do with gun sales [like Ammoland News], and in many cases, Facebook seems more than happy to shut down those pages and groups.

A friend of mine recently sent me these examples of non-selling groups that have shut down by the Social Just Warrior Tyrants: West Texas Used Brass and Reloading, Mossberg Shotguns and Rifles (interest group), and Alaska Wheel Gun Discussion. Reports continue to roll in of hundreds, and maybe thousands, of groups that are being disconnected. The odds of getting your interest group turned back on are about the same as Jeb Bush winning the next Republican primary.

Here’s the problem with all of this. Facebook is a business. The First Amendment, free speech, and all of that doesn’t apply. You can still say whatever you want, just not on Facebook, because they own the software and servers, so they make the rules.

You may love or hate Facebook, and it’s many things to many people. One thing Facebook is not is a charity. Yeah, it’s free, but like Bernie Sanders’ programs, we all pay through the nose for it. Everything you write, photograph, video, comment, or share will be analyzed, mined, packaged and sold to the highest bidder.

Think of using Facebook like documenting every aspect of your life – photos, thoughts, and conversations – and sending it voluntarily to every advertising firm on the planet. That's not an exaggeration.

Facebook doesn’t care about you or your issues. Facebook cares about three things:

  1. How many people use Facebook.
  2. How many hours those people spend on Facebook.
  3. How many dollars marketers will pay Facebook for access to those people.

Unfortunately for us, the shooting community is pretty small in the scope of the big worldwide Book of Face. Over 1 BILLION people use Facebook every day for somewhere around 20 minutes each. Over 800 million of those daily users are not in the United States or Canada, the focal points of gun issues and discussion.

So how big is the gun enthusiast footprint in the scope of Facebook? Consider some of the larger organizational and interest FB pages.

Corporate and Organizational Pages

Guns and Ammo Magazine 733,000
National Association for Gun Rights [FYI NAGR a false flag gun rights group, that is just stealing fund$ for their gain] 4.4 million
Gun Owners of America 1.2 million
Gun Digest Magazine 682,000
3-Gun Nation 261,000
Shooting Illustrated Magazine 1.9 million
National Shooting Sports Foundation 505,000
National Rifle Association 4.7 million
Second Amendment Foundation 418,000

Common Interest Pages

Guns Lover 1 million
Guns 3.1 million
Anything About Guns 902,000
Guns and Patriots 617,000
Guns, Ammo and Knives 873,000
Shooting 2.3 million

Just to put things in perspective, the band Guns and Roses has 29,986,836 likes. The lesser known band Machine Gun Kelly has a whopping 4.1 million. In fact, “big” pages on Facebook easily pop into the tens of millions. Heck, Michael Jackson has a bigger Facebook presence than the entire gun community combined, and he’s rumored to be dead.

Facebook 169 million
Cristiano Ronaldo 109 million
Shakira 104 million
Vin Diesel 97 million
Justin Bieber 74 million
Michael Jackson 76 million

So back to the opening True / False question…

The answer is true. Soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo does have 23.2 times more clout on Facebook than all of the National Rifle Association fans combined.

In contrast, invitation groups on Facebook, meaning the types most likely to be affected by the recent Facebook policies, often include just tens, hundreds, or thousands of members. We can whine and gripe all we want, but mathematically, Facebook isn't gonna care all that much.

If you’re pissed at Facebook, and just can’t live without it, what can you do?

You can take the boycott approach and join some other social network like MeWe or Hey, I'm all for this approach because I hate Facebook. Not a day goes by that I don't consider ditching it altogether. You can be certain that Facebook watches the growth numbers of competitive social media sites like a hawk. Will this make a difference? Probably not, as a few hundred thousand ticked off gun owners won’t get much attention from Facebook or any of the other social media giants. If you bail and go to a gun friendly site, do it knowing that you’re just moving to a place where your conversations about gun issues won’t be censored.

There’s nothing at all wrong with that, just know that you’re not going to have social media goliaths begging you to come back.

You can also choose to fight where you already live by getting out of the shadows and into Facebook's face. While no one knows the exact answer, it’s likely that at least 100 million people in the United States own a gun. If all, or most, of those folks, make connections [aka Likes] of some sort to gun-related content on Facebook, Uncle Zuckerberg and his spys will know it. So don’t hesitate to post photos, links, and gun stuff on your Facebook page. Start with liking AmmoLand News. Then like pages of shooting companies and topics that interest you. Participate in discussions. If you’re worried about getting on a list or being identified, see the previous part of this article about your personal information on social media. You have no privacy and are already on more lists than you can possibly imagine.

Now if we can figure out how to coerce Justin Bieber into filing a complaint with the Facebook management team, we might be onto something. Anybody here know the Biebs?

When shooting-related pages start competing with the Biebs, we'll get plenty of attention from Facebook.
When shooting-related pages start competing with the Biebs, we'll get plenty of attention from Facebook.

About Tom McHale

Tom McHale is the author of the Insanely Practical Guides book series that guides new and experienced shooters alike in a fun, approachable, and practical way. His books are available in print and eBook format on Amazon. You can also find him on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

  • 52 thoughts on “The Prying Business of Facebook and Guns

    1. All the internet snooping at people’s communications and what’s going on with the ‘government’ and Apple Corp. raises a question. Is PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) still a good alternative program to keep your private data private? Does anyone out there know?

    2. OK thanks for that – boy I have been duped! Dropping membership to NAGR with immediate effect – all these carrots they dangle (gun give-aways), got me wondering a while ago.

    3. So If I start posting big black guns on my Facebook account they will shut me down? Big deal. I didn’t use my account for a year. I just use it to keep in touch with the kids and I really can use other resources. Waa Waa, I get shut down.

    4. Haven’t had cable in over 2 years, deactivated my FB on New Year’s Day (although I need to get back on there to get pics copied onto my PC)…what else can I get rid of???

      I like my little bubble, I like my privacy, and I LOVE my guns!

      Those backward Dems will get what’s coming to them. It might take some time, but they’ll get theirs. Their eyes will be opened, and they’ll be asking us for help and protection. Then, like they did to me on FB, I’ll BLOCK them!!!!

      HA HA HA HA

    5. I left Facebook 2 months ago because every time I posted something they would take me off for 2 days
      But Facebook allows black lives matter & kill honky stuff to be posted
      Tired of the double standard

    6. Facebook was one of the largest factors in the election of Obama during his first campaign. FB is NOT the first social media site (AOL was around in the early 90s then Yahoo, etc.) but was the first to be effectively used in a national campaign. Dig into this and you’ll learn a lot! As to mention of guns on FB or “shopping” to buy a gun on FB, it is the LAST PLACE I would search if I were in the market.

    7. Unfortunately, things have changed. There is no fair play anymore. This is war! This is the greatest battle of hearts and minds. Gentlemen, don’t let the bad guys win. Don’t use FB! FB is operated by people that like to do little work, and make money off the backs of others, they are the “money changers”. Don’t give them anything! Zero! Tell your friends not to use FB and Google or anything that the “money changers” use to take our rights away to defend ourselves. The “money changers” have penetrated our financial institutions, our educational institutions, spreading their ideologies, their poison! Now they want to take control of the presidency! Don’t let them do it!!

    8. To blazes with Face Book,and their “snitches” too. Of the several things that I find curious, one is the following. The fact that several discussion sites require a Face Book Account, Face Book Password, in order to comment on articles.

    9. Well I like all the ones linked above . Why? Because you suggested? No. Because I did not know they existed.
      But I DID know about the NAGR crap. Drove me batty with BS and gave my email address to a bunch of other BS groups.

      1. I totally agree with that, to stay away from NAGR. They, I think, sold my email address to some bad dudes that kept pestering me with junk about winning millions from nigeria and I couldn’t get it stopped without changing my email address. They do nothing for us, anyway.

    10. I am the creator and administrator of Mossberg Shotguns and Rifles on Facebook. Thank you for the mention! As it stands right now my group has been resurrected and all seems to running smoothly.

    11. Ammoland, give us plenty to flood FB with. I just sent yours to them and told them to go screw themselves. They have not touched my account and I have guns all over it. We just flood them with the ads until they get tired of taking them off. That’s my way. The big bad wolf does not scare me. Drown the bastards in pro-gun pictures and talk!!!

    12. Well the “Bieb” has the all seeing eye of the nwo/AC kingdom on the inside of his left elbow…..
      He IS one of the many puppets for the coming project….

      with FB it seems the jew has now become the nazi….

    13. In response to you statistics. If all the gun owning people in America would just join the NRA we would have the means and the money to make the changes that are needed. Nobody in government is going to buck an organization with 50 to 100 million members. Unfortunately most of those gun owns would rather buy a 5 dollar coffee every day at anti-gun Starbucks than spend 30 dollars a year on being a member of the NRA. And for the record I am a life member.

    14. The only reason I even have a Facebook account is to post comments on the web. This all started with the Gun Right’s Examiner. I have fewer FB friends than fingers, but I have all of my fingers.
      I don’t post there much,but have liked pro-gun and conservative groups.

    15. I closed my FB account when many anti-gunners started sending obnoxious posts to my account. That was about six years ago. I never looked back, they are all liberals that cling to their social media and cannot take the God fearing, gun toting, conservative.

    16. I haven’t had a Facebook account in 7 years. I had one to keep in touch with my daughter while she was in school and we have other ways now.
      Screw Facebook and the clown running it.

    17. Facebook has always struck me as a big waste of time along with most other forms of social media. The best way to socialize is at some sort of event involving firearms and shooting. Simple as that.

    18. Unfortunately, at this point in history… the socialist toilet is overflowing!

      It’s hard to believe that so many people actually support the idea of a change to a socialist form of government. Seems they have no idea that the Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics repeatedly failed it’s own citizens, and led to the COLLAPSE of socialism and communism, along with the breakup of the USSR. That it had to build a wall to keep people IN. If socialism is so good, why did so many want to leave it? We want a wall to keep people out unless we welcome them as good prospects as good future citizens. Anyone who doesn’t like our way is welcome to leave. I wonder if this lack of understanding is because the left pushed to stop teaching civics and government in school?

    19. I don’t see what the big deal is about. If FB doesn’t want me, I don’t want them. Eff em’!
      FB is a completely despicable operation. If they make a millionth of a penny off me, it’s too much. I deleted my account and there’s no content related to me in any way – that I know of.

    20. You may as well be posting on a govt website as FB is nothing but a pro-govt, anti-privacy and politically correct way to kill & waste time. I’d rather go to my dentist than open & use a FB account. And now we find out they don’t like guns?? Uncle Zuckerburg is just another govt approved psychopath selling sheep’s clothing and acts like this keep him in the govt’s good graces. So the only thing you should be asking yourself is why do I still have & use a FB account when I like and use the Constitutionally approved shooting sports even more??

    21. Facebook closed down all three local buy/sell/trade pages; two of which I was Admin.

      We spent lierallly hundreds of hours removing, blocking, and ignoring nuesance users, posted clear rules including laws and fb community standards.

      We figured out that those being blocked were the ones snitching, or that we were removing moles which was triggering something. We changed names of pages, privacy settings and everything else possible. Three sites on three days, one after the other.

      I then spent three hours submitting pages and posts covering everything from videos if shootings, drug promoting pages, and even gang pages. Every single one came back as not in conflict with fb community standards.

      None of ot matters. Fb is owned by liberals, not subject to 1st Amendment, and can essentially do whatever they want. Boycott is all that will work; and I doubt enough gun owners will do so for it to matter.

      We’ve started exploring other forums such as MeWe and private domains.

      1. I was with you until you stated that YOU started snitching…on pages that had nothing to do with yours.

        FB can operate the way they want. They dont want any gun sales to slip thru. Fine, they aren’t the only medium to trad or sell firearms. Its their right to operate and make money the way they see fit.

        all that liberal this n that is crap…fB is in the business of making money from ads. Period.

        Creating your own site like facebook is easy. build your own and you dont have to play by someone else’s rules…just keep it legal

        nobody likes a snitch though

    22. Zuckerberg is what he’s always been- a toiletfish that so far has been useful to the Progressive/Leviathan State…at some point, however; toilets get flushed.

    23. Like Tex, I backed out, and deleted all I had on ‘my FB page’. Each item and photo had to be deleted individually, was how I did it. I’m not a computer geek…..but I AM A GUN GEEK. Don’t need them, Hillary, Bernie, Obama or any of the Anti Constitutional, Anti Gun creeps!
      Stay Safe….Stay Armed….Stay American….!!!

    24. Steve Harvey TV talk show today ….. an HOUR of anti-gun PROPAGANDA complete with weeping mothers and effeminate clergy.
      I DO NOT donate anything to church anymore …. Catholic, Lutheran AND Jewish “Social Services” are working against guns and are being handed YOUR TAX DOLLARS to “sponsor” Middle East “refugees” … check out their web pages.

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