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Facebook Bans Weapon Accessories, Protective Gear Ads In U.S.

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc said on Saturday it will ban advertisements for weapon accessories and protective equipment in the United States with immediate effect until at least two days after U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

Following the attack by supporters of President Donald Trump against the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the social media company said it will now prohibit ads for accessories such as gun safes, vests, and gun holsters in the United States.

“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 sent a letter to Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg on Friday asking him to permanently block advertisements of products that are clearly designed to be used in armed combat.

The senators, all Democrats, said the company must 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 on Friday blocked the creation of any new Facebook events in close proximity to places such as the White House and U.S. Capitol in Washington, as well as state capitol buildings, through Jan. 20.

Reporting by Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall.