Earlier today, our friends at TTAG flooded the interwebs with news of FFL’ers Kentucky Gun Company having their Facebook page removed for violating terms and conditions. It was a shock to the entire firearms community, since they are a reputable FFL dealer with all of the proper licensing.
If you haven’t read the story, catch yourself up here.
Now, they’ve been un-banned and are back in action! But how? Well, they don’t really know exactly what happened.
If that’s really the case, then they beat Facebook by using… Facebook. Ahh, the power of social media!
I spoke with the owner of Kentucky Gun Company, Patrick Hayden, to see if I could uncover what actually happened to make Facebook reverse their decision. The answer, it seems, is a trigger-happy automated robot.
“I couldn’t tell you why, but somehow we got snarled on this algorithm that was searching all of the buy/sell/trade groups”, says Hayden. “We aren’t a verified Facebook page but as long as you are verified, the algorithm doesn’t apply to you.”
We continued to talk about Facebook’s impact on both our businesses, and how troublesome it has become when something of this magnitude occurs. It could be ‘lights out’ for no apparent reason at all.
Hayden continued, “Facebook is a huge part of our marketing whether you like the rules that they have or not, it’s still their site and we thought we were within their rules by being a federally licensed dealer. We’ve been in business since 1946. To have one of our big marketing avenues taken down, you can’t talk to anyone over there, so you don’t always know what’s going on. I don’t know how the page got back up or who decided to put it back up.”
TTAG was the first to break the news, and Hayden wanted to make a point to thank all of the fine folks over at TTAG, as well as Hickok45 for their support during this scary day for Kentucky Gun Company.
In the grand scheme of things and at the end of the day, it’s Facebook’s house and therefor Facebook’s rules. It’s nice to see that the good guys didn’t get pegged this time, but it’s also important to realize how quickly things can go south when *cough* employees *cough* can’t recognize a licensed FFL dealer from a guy trying to sell some AR’s out of his trunk. More thank likely, their page was flagged by someone(s) and after the recent policy change in FB land, an eager (or lazy) Facebook employee pulled the plug without doing any research.
One of the last things we spoke about was their continued denial of ads on Facebook because they’re a gun company. I stopped him and said, “You sell other products besides guns, so why does a company like Dick’s Sporting Goods or Cabelas get to advertise on Facebook, but not you?”
I doubt we’ll ever have an answer to that question.
Hayden ended the conversation with a small sliver of just how stressful his day was: “I woke up at 5am with an email from my marketing guy who said that our Facebook page was taken down. Let me tell you, I’ve got several more gray hairs today that I didn’t have yesterday.”