The tech giant's judgment targets "weapons accessories" and "protective equipment" through Jan. 22 "out of an abundance of caution", according to a Saturday blog post. Facebook will be maintaining its policy of banning ads for firearms, ammunition, and suppressors.
"We’re monitoring for signals of violence or other threats both in Washington, D.C. and across all 50 states," the social media giant wrote. "In the lead up to Inauguration Day, we have implemented a series of additional measures to continue preventing attempts to use our services for violence."
In a statement, Erich Pratt, senior vice president of the Gun Owners of America, a Pro-Second Amendment Group, remarked, “The new restrictions Facebook just implemented ‘out of an abundance of caution’ are laughable. Among other things, they are banning ads for safety vests and safes, which are purely defensive or safety-related items. This just proves that Facebook has never been about safety. They have become a Ministry of Truth — a propaganda arm of the anti-gun Left.”
“We already prohibit ads for weapons, ammunition and weapon enhancements like silencers. But we will now also prohibit ads for accessories,” Facebook said in a blog post.
Three U.S. senators addressed a letter to Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg on Friday urging him to permanently block advertisements of products that are clearly designed to be used in armed combat.
The senators, all Democrats, announced the company has to take this and other actions to “hold itself accountable for how domestic enemies of the United States have used the company’s products and platform to further their own illicit aims.”
Facebook has explained it would block the making of any event near prominent government buildings in the Washington, D.C., area and take off posts with the phrase "stop the steal" after the Jan. 6 protest, where thousands of demonstrators clashed with law enforcement and breached the Capitol in a siege that resulted in the deaths of five people.
"As always, we will continue to remove content, disable accounts and work with law enforcement when there is a risk of physical harm or direct threats to public safety," Facebook wrote.
Facebook banned President Trump's account "indefinitely" the day after the turmoil, and the company explained it would "proactively reach out to federal and local law enforcement" if credible threats emerge. The social media company was subsequently hit with judgment from those who thought the corporation did not go far enough.
“These isolated actions are both too late and not nearly enough," Democratic Virginia Sen. Mark Warner told the Guardian earlier this month. "These platforms have served as core organizing infrastructure for violent, far-Right groups and militia movements for several years now."