The social network announced last week they are moving to scrub content related to downloadable 3D printed gun files from their platform.
Facebook, with an estimated 2.23 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2018, said they are actively looking to remove such content, reports Reuters.
“Sharing instructions on how to print firearms using 3D printers is not allowed under our Community Standards. In line with our policies, we are removing this content from Facebook,” said a company spokesperson, going on to explain that the existing policy will soon be updated.
Currently, the platform prohibits the “purchase, sale, gifting, exchange, and transfer of firearms, including firearm parts or ammunition” among private individuals on Facebook.
A 3D plans project, backed by the Firearms Policy Coalition and other gun rights groups, has been blocked by Facebook and its related Instagram and Messenger platforms, said the FPC. The site was established shortly after Austin, Texas-based Defense Distributed was blocked by a federal judge in Seattle from posting 3D gun plans.
“What we are experiencing is a complete ban on CodeIsFreeSpeech.com — not a ‘shadow ban’, not a reduced newsfeed presence, but a complete and total ban,” noted the group. “Welcome to Facebook North Korea.”
As of Monday, the Facebook page for Defense Distributed itself, with 18,000 followers, was still live as was a DefDist CNC milling support group. Also available were pages by the Alliance Against 3d Printed Guns as well as posts from gun control groups against the technology.
The move comes as the social media giant is concentrating on the debate between the intersection of technology and free speech while drawing a line on what it considers offensive content. Notably, Facebook Zucc’d various pages related to firebrand Alex Jones’ InfoWars channel last week, which in turn triggered the standalone InfoWars app to become one of the “hottest in the country” in terms of recent downloads.