NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Facebook Is getting tougher when it comes to gun-related advertising.
The social media giant says it plans to restrict ads of weapon accessories from people under the age of 18.
Facebook will require advertisers to restrict their audience when publishing on the platform starting Thursday.
The announcement comes as the United States is embroiled in a nationwide debate over gun reform. Mass shootings, including school attacks in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas, have intensified the discussion.
Facebook isn’t the only Silicon Valley company diving head first into the gun debate by restricting the content on its platforms. In March, YouTube, owned by Google, said it will ban videos that promote or link to websites that sell firearms and accessories. The company had already banned videos that attempted to sell firearms.
Facebook’s advertising and data collection policies have more broadly been under scrutiny as the company deals with the toughest crises in its 14-year history. In March, the social network was criticized for a scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, a digital consultancy with ties to the Trump presidential campaign, which improperly accessed personal information on up to 87 million Facebook users.
The company has also been in the hot seat for not doing enough to prevent abuse from Russian trolls who posted misinformation and divisive content on the platform in an attempt to meddle in the election and sow discord among voters.
Facebook’s updated ad policy could ruffle conservatives and Second Amendment advocates. Some conservatives are already suspicious of the social media network, accusing it of liberal bias and suppression of conservative voices.