Chasing Guns From Facebook Part II: Reporting Individual Posts

In my first Facebook related post I showed you how to report gun groups. That was phenomenally successful — together we have reported and had taken down thousands of groups selling guns, driving much of the Facebook trading underground. The word is spreading quickly: Facebook and their users will tolerate this behavior no longer. Follow the rules or leave.

Today I’ll show you a new project that not only halts individual sales, but helps to spread the word. Note that this one is desktop only; while it’s possible to report sales from a phone, it is a slow and buggy process. Each time an individual post is successfully reported, the user who posted it gets a reprimand that ranges from a simple warning for a first offense to a lifetime ban for repeat violators. Inevitably, these users then post about what they’ve done and the punishment they received, helping to spread the word in the Facebook community. It couldn’t be easier, and boy does it annoy them.

First, pick a keyword from the list below. For each keyword, we will do three searches, combining it with “sell”, “sale”, and then “obo” (which stands for “or best offer”).

Hi Point

For our example, we’ll be using “AR15”. Doing a search on “AR15 sell” and selecting the “Latest” tab at the top of the screen (do not bother with the “top” Tab) quickly brings up a gun sale. Please make sure you only report what is actually a violation: offers to buy and sell firearms. Abuse of the report system can get you banned.

From there, we simply pull down the menu on the upper right hand corner of the post and follow the flow. Please note that your options may differ — select the most relevant option until you get to the final screen.

Great! Once you select “Submit to Facebook for Review” you have anonymously reported a gun sale! Clean out the rest of the postings, then follow up by searching “AR15 sale” and “AR15 obo” to clean out that keyword.

Now, make sure you check your support messages in a few hours and see how successful you were! Pull down the question mark menu on the upper right hand side and select “New Support Messages”.

Awesome! One less gun sales post in the world.

Finally, if you want to be a real Betsy about it, screenshot your takedowns and share them on Facebook and Twitter. Challenge your friends — who can take down the most posts? Make sure that if you’re reporting a large number that you slow down when Facebook tells you to, take a ten minute break or your ability to report will be suspended for 24 hours.

Happy hunting! You’ll find me on Twitter at @jbsibley — let me know if you find any juicy keywords I should include!