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Facebook Blocking Young Users From Gun Posts
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on March 06, 2014 @ 8:01PM
Created on March 06, 2014 @ 7:15PM

The popular social media site Facebook is trying to stop some of its youngest users from having access to posts about guns.

Website officials are working to block minors from seeing posts about gun sales and people across the nation are talking about the issue.

Facebook is attempting to crack down on potential illegal sales. For example, groups for selling firearms without background checks risk being taken down. Many people believe this was initiated because of recent stories about kids getting their hands on guns.

Recently a 15-year-old boy in Kentucky brought a handgun to school and he allegedly told investigators he bought it with the help of a Facebook group. If you're online pay attention in the coming weeks because you might start seeing some posts disappear.

First users have to flag them as inappropriate or against Facebook policy. Once that's done then it can be removed by administrators. Most of this initiative is aimed at guns, but alcohol and tobacco promoted items will be under fire as well.

Media experts claim part of the reason why Facebook is doing this is because it doesn't want to deal with public backlash.

Dr. Elizabeth Cohen is a communication studies professor at WVU. She said, "I can understand why Facebook wouldn't want to be associated as a marketplace where people could illegally engage in these types of purchases."

Some local residents believe Facebook is doing the right thing while others are saying it's crossing the line.

Christian Ragland is a Monongalia County resident. He said, "It's a little unnecessary for them to restrict access to it because in all reality if you try to educate some of the younger people about the age restrictions I feel like that may help get the awareness out."

"I think it's fair. I don't think that really young kids should be exposed to stuff like that," said Wyoming County resident Rebecca Thomas.

The policy change will also go into effect for Instagram. Users might see pop-up ads requiring them to verify that they know certain laws regarding to what they're searching about.


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