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As of now, Facebook users under the age of 18 can be served advertisements for firearm holsters, flashlight-mounts, and silencers, and other gun accessories. But a new policy is supposed to but an end to that starting June 21.
Facebook announced the new policy last week, explaining that this decision came during a regular reassessment of “where we can improve.” The blog post states that Facebook already prohibits ads for weapon sales, but stills allows companies to advertise weapon accessories. In a few days those ads will only be allowed for people age 18 and above.
The company restricts children under the age of 13 from creating accounts on the social media platform (except in Spain and South Korea, where the age limit is 14, due to local laws). It is a violation of terms to create an account using false information, and the company provides a way for people to report users that are under the age of 13.
Here are the updated policies related to weapon accessory ads that will go into effect on Thursday:
For comparison, here are the current policies, which don’t list age restrictions:
It isn’t entirely clear why Facebook decided to change this policy now, but it comes amid fervent national conversations and public protests over gun control in the wake of several horrific school shootings
Update: When asked for its reasoning behind the move, Facebook told Gizmodo it continually evaluates and updates its policies to make sure they are in the right place.