Facebook suspends ads for weapon accessories until at least January 22nd

Illustration by Alex Castro / The VergeFacebook has updated its Inauguration Day preparations to include a temporary ban on ads that promote weapon accessories and protective equipment at least through January 22nd “out of an abundance of caution,” the...

Facebook suspends ads for weapon accessories until at least January 22nd

Facebook has updated its Inauguration Day preparations to include a temporary ban on ads that promote weapon accessories and protective equipment at least through January 22nd “out of an abundance of caution,” the company said in a new blog post Saturday. “We already prohibit ads for weapons, ammunition and weapon enhancements like silencers. But we will now also prohibit ads for accessories such as gun safes, vests and gun holsters in the US,” the statement reads.

The ban comes after Facebook was criticized for allowing posts across its platforms that promoted and organized the deadly January 6th attack on the Capitol building. The ads for military gear such as body armor and gun holsters ran next to Facebook and Instagram posts about the insurrection at the Capitol that included calls for violence, as first reported by BuzzFeed News,

A group of US senators wrote a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Friday, urging the company to “develop and execute a Facebook policy permanently prohibiting advertisements of products... primarily designed for use in lethal tactical operations and armed combat.”

Facebook has tightened its policies amid concerns that there may be more violence in the nation’s capital ahead of the January 20th inauguration. The company says it won’t allow users to create events taking place “in close proximity” to the White House, the Capitol, or state capital buildings through Inauguration Day. Facebook also said it was doing a “secondary review” of any inauguration-related events created on its platform and will remove any that violate its rules.