Analyzes of ProPublica and other outlets have found that the nation’s mega-web platforms derive significant revenue from gun advertising.
Google’s ad systems serve more than 100 million gun ads every year, even though the company says it bans them. And Facebook provides a platform for the unregulated 3D industry that creates “ghost guns”, the outlet claims.
According ProPublica, 15 of the largest gun sellers in the United States – including Daniel Defence, the company that made the AR-15 used by the Uvalde, Texas shooter – used Google’s systems to place ads generating millions of impressions and earning a small profit for Google.
Google defines ads in two ways – one through its own network – the other through ads sold by partners. Partnered ad exchanges make firearms ads more likely to circumvent Google’s advertising policies.
Google profits from every advertising transaction.
The company has always said the ads don’t align with its values and struggles with unwanted gun ads. Like in 2019, when shortly after a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, The edge reported that the advertising network owned and operated by Google placed ads for high-capacity ammunition magazines.
The company has acknowledged that the ads for high-capacity ammunition violated its policy.
Advertising data was collected using Adbeat and Similarweba digital intelligence platform.
Meanwhile, Media Matters for America, a nonprofit tech watchdog group, showed that Facebook and Instagram users could buy firearms equipment from unregulated sources capable of making firearms. great power, including assault weapons, with just a few clicks, reports the Guardian.
Most of these weapons, known as “ghost guns”, come from 3D printers or DIY gun kits, allowing buyers to bypass background checks.
Ghost gun criminal investigations increased tenfold from 2016 to 2021.
The Media Matters study identified more than 40 active listings in the US on Facebook Marketplace and Instagram Shopping, allowing for more unregistered guns.
Authorized modifications with weapon parts sold on social media platforms can assemble a weapon like the AR-15 that the shooter used in the shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
“‘Facebook has its finger on the trigger,'” said Ben Wyskida, spokesman for the Meta watchdog group, the Real Facebook Oversight Board.
“Facebook is literally going to get someone killed rather than shutting down or fixing features that are profitable but encourage extremism. This should be fully investigated and stopped.
This summary was prepared by TCR Deputy Editor James Van Bramer.