Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms reported that Facebook and Instagram have now banned influencers from promoting firearms, tobacco, and vaping products through “branded content” on these social media platforms.
This move could prove to be detrimental for firearms companies since it could disproportionately impact their marketing and advertising strategies. Additionally, influencer’s ability to make money on these platforms could also be dramatically affected.
This change closes a loophole in Facebook’s advertising policies. Even though Facebook’s ad policies have banned the advertising of vaping, tobacco and weapons, private users can post about them, and until now advertisers could theoretically put paid promotion behind those posts.
The company said it would begin enforcement of the new rule “in the coming weeks.” An Instagram spokesperson said this is the first time it’s implementing restrictions around the type of items that can be promoted for branded content.
Edwards noted that “If this only affects companies that pay to promote the posts by influencers, as CNBC reports, this won’t have much of an impact.”
However, he believes that “if this is truly a ban on ‘branded content,’ it’s going to affect much more than that, and I fear that’s actually the case.”
Taking a look at how Facebook defines “branded content” should be a cause for concern:
“Branded content is produced by a publisher or creator for payment by a business partner, where the partner influences the content or is featured in it.”
Instagram’s defines branded content as the following:
We define branded content as a creator or publisher’s content that features or is influenced by a business partner for an exchange of value (for example, where the business partner has paid the creator or publisher).
Our policies require creators and publishers to tag business partners in their branded content posts when there’s an exchange of value between a creator or publisher and a business partner.
Given how important influencers are for gun businesses, this announcement by the social media giants may present many problems for gun-related companies in the future. After all, influencers are some of the most effective ways for companies to expand their audiences on social media.
Although social media companies are private entities and they can craft policies that they see fit, the political nature of some of their decision-making is worrisome.
In a much saner America, companies knew their role and stayed away from politics. Now, it seems that every company feels obligated to have a political take and craft policies that are in line with the politically correct Left.
Social media consumers on the Right should not lay down and let Big Tech abuse them. They should continuously voice complaints and also team up with wealthy right wingers to exercise shareholder influencer over these companies. By using market pressure and shaming, right wing social media consumers can at least make Big Tech thought policers think twice before considering more woke policies.
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