Politics & Policy

Facebook, Twitter, Google Stifle Ads for Gun Safety Locks

(Issei Kato/Reuters)
The reason is supposedly the platforms' gun-sale policies.

A gun-safety-lock company was baffled when several powerful advertising platforms cracked down on its ads, citing policies restricting ads for firearms sales.

Facebook, Twitter, and Google aggressively limited or rejected ads for the company ZORE even though it does not sell guns but gun-safety locks that could potentially save lives.

The gun lock, the first of its kind, has received good reviews from the gun community. A representative for ZORE said gun owners have embraced the lock because it is effective at preventing unauthorized use of firearms while remaining quickly and easily accessible to authorized users. In contrast, many gun owners rejected other safety devices such as smart guns or biometric finger locks, the spokesman said.

The crackdown on ZORE’s advertising is ostensibly due to the platforms’ policies limiting ads for the sale of firearms. However, nowhere in Facebook, Twitter, or Google’s content policies do they have rules about advertising gun safety devices.

Facebook and Google said the ads simply do not comply with their policies. Twitter told ZORE verbally that it would not even open an ad account for the company.

ZORE’s CEO Bruno Escojido told National Review that “ZORE is about saving lives and protecting families.”

“These are values that I would not have expected Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to blindly reject, without any distinction, just because it is gun related,” Escojido continued. “They’re actually keeping a highly innovative gun-safety device out of the spotlight and limiting gun owners’ freedom to choose. This lack of distinction, it would seem, is a result of their binary view on the issue, which sees anything firearms-related as bad.”

The gun-control issue has flooded the national conversation again after a young gunman opened fire in a Parkland, Fla., school, killing 17 and injuring 14 with an AR-15 rifle on Valentine’s Day. Student survivors of the horror have led a lobbying movement directed at Congress and state governments demanding they pass legislation banning assault weapons, among other measures. The high-schoolers organized marches on Washington, D.C., and the Tallahassee, Fla., capitol, and are planning several more.

Companies have also felt the heat lately of social-media campaigns pressuring them to cut ties with the National Rifle Association. Some stores such as Dick’s Sporting Goods have announced they will stop selling assault weapons.

 

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