We are getting some Facebook posts by airsofters that some airsoft buy and sell groups are getting banned or having themselves renamed. There are some that still remain to be functioning normally and have their names still intact, maybe not for long. Firearms groups and other related groups are also experiencing the same.
Facebook announced in late January 2016 that they will not be allowing firearms trades publicly and privately on the social media network, and will only allow licensed firearms dealers to put up advertisements as long as transactions are not conducted within Facebook and other web properties that it owns such as Instagram.
Initially we thought that this covers real firearms but it looks like Facebook have made it across the board. If you think your group is not covered since it might be legal in your own country, Facebook will be implementing its new policy throughout the whole Facebook community:
What is considered a firearm in the list of regulated goods in Facebook’s Community Standards?
The Facebook Community Standards don’t allow attempts by unauthorized dealers to buy, sell or trade firearms. This includes:
- Machine guns
- Firearm receivers
- Antique guns
- Black powder firearms
- Muzzle-loading firearms
- BB guns
- Airsoft guns
- Air guns
- Air rifles
- Paintball markers
- Firearm replicas
- Non-functioning firearms
- Curios and relics
- Destructive devices such as bombs, grenades, rockets, missiles or mines
We understand that some of these items may not be legally regulated everywhere people use Facebook. In order to enforce our policies as fairly and consistently as possible, we use one broad set of standards for the entire Facebook community.
The problem with existing Facebook airsoft buy and sell groups changing the names in order to remain on the good side, it may just be a futile hide and seek game as Facebook can shutdown groups anytime it wants to (a disgruntled member might just report your group anytime). Even appealing will take longer that sometimes it is futile to appeal to lift the ban on their group.
So what now if Facebook shuts down airsoft buy and sell groups? It’s time to go back to the good old airsoft forums.
Many airsoft forums have seen a decline in members and activity as more and more airsoft players are now depending on Facebook to interact with each other since the social network is turning into a massive network of various interests in one place. Rather than logging into different websites of different interests, on Facebook, you need to login once and immediately you can interact with friends, family, team mates and follow different fields of interests, from airsoft to celebrities, to photos of cute cats.
But with such a development, perhaps it is time for airsoft players to go back to their favorite airsoft forums since without them, the growth of airsoft would not have been possible without them. Even before Facebook, MySpace or Friendster started, the airsoft forums have been actively promoting the airsoft --- providing support to newbies and discussing different topics from legal to airsoft gun maintenance to airsoft gun and accessories trade.
Airsoft forums have been very helpful in facilitating trades of unwanted airsoft guns, accessories and tactical gear. Most follow the local laws regulating such trades (if such laws exist), and are important venues for the secondhand airsoft market.
And the best thing about airsoft forums? They really care about airsoft as they are run by airsoft players themselves. As for Facebook, well it is run by people who care more about shareholders rather than their users. So in the end, airsoft forums are still the best refuge for airsoft players who want to connect to other airsoft players and eventually do legal trades of airsoft items.