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Facebook just announced a big policy shift when it comes to gun sales.

The tech giant banned private gun sales on its website and on Instagram.

Facebook just announced a big policy shift when it comes to gun sales.

If you're in the market to buy a gun, don't count on the largest social network on Earth to help you get it.

On Jan. 29, 2016, Facebook banned private gun sales on its website as well as on photo app Instagram (which it owns).


Photo by Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images.

That means the network's more than 1.5 billion monthly active users — and Instagram's more than 400 million — will no longer be able to utilize the platforms to privately buy or sell firearms.

For those who feel strongly that guns shouldn't be able to be bought and sold as carelessly as, say, a couch on Craigslist, this change is welcome news.

Monika Bickert, Facebook's head of product policy, told outlets that the network has increasingly become a go-to resource for digital commerce, and the policy switch is a natural next step:

"Over the last two years, more and more people have been using Facebook to discover products and to buy and sell things to one another. We are continuing to develop, test, and launch new products to make this experience even better for people and are updating our regulated goods policies to reflect this evolution."

So, what does this mean for your news feed?

You should no longer be seeing friends post a status or photo about a firearm they're selling (if that was something you ever saw to begin with). And, if you're that friend, you've got to find a different way to sell your gun.

Why? This type of peer-to-peer exchange can be done without background checks, and Facebook is done playing the role of enabler, The Guardian points out. It's essentially the same ban the social network has in place for selling marijuana and prescription drugs.

Photo by Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images.

How will the ban be implemented? If users spot another user posting about a gun they wish to sell, the violator can be reported. From there, Facebook can ban or severely limit the seller's access to post content.

The change, however, does not affect licensed gun retailers using Facebook as an advertising platform. So you may still spot a gun ad while scrolling, and that's just fine.

Facebook's announcement is another step forward in keeping people who are a threat to others from accessing guns.

Following the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California (and yet another outcry for more gun regulations), President Obama announced executive orders to expand background checks, invest in gun safety technology, and increase access to mental health care, among other actions, in January 2016. (Those initiatives, by the way, are broadly supported by Americans.)

President Obama shed a few tears while talking about the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting of 2012 and announcing new executive actions on guns. Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images.

Facebook's policy change certainly won't stop all online gun sales without background checks — but it will help.

As gun control advocacy group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America pointed out, many other online platforms act as forums for gun sellers to operate under the radar. The group, however — which claimed its calls for action had already prompted Facebook to do more to curb gun violence — praised the social network's latest announcement.

A protester at 2013 gun control rally in New York City, in which Moms Demand Action participated. Photo by Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images.

“Two years ago, our campaign to get Facebook to change how their platforms host firearm sales resulted in nine new policies to curb children’s exposure to guns and to clarify state laws around selling and buying guns online," Shannon Watts, founder of the group, said in a statement. "Our continued relationship with Facebook resulted in today’s even stronger stance, which will prevent dangerous people from getting guns and save American lives.”

The policy upgrade by Facebook — one of the world's largest forums to buy and sell guns — marks another tally in the win column for groups like Moms Demand Action.

It's great to see a company with as much influence as Facebook stepping up to help stop gun violence.

Obama's executive orders were also great. But when Congress is gridlocked when it comes to taking any common sense action on guns — even while 80% of Americans are in favor of stricter gun laws (the NRA, by the way, might have something to do with that discrepancy) — it's definitely deserving of a Like to see private businesses step up to the plate.

Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.

As someone who's been married to the same human for 22 years, I can say with confidence that a big key to marital bliss is to come at it with a sense of humor. Living with and loving someone for life (hopefully) is a shared journey with ups and downs and unexpected detours. The story of that journey is filled with big life events and mundane daily details, and with moments both precious and perturbing.

If you've been married a while, this collection of funny tweets about marriage will hit home. Shared by Joshua Johnson on Facebook, this "Marriage: A Story of Love in 28 Parts" compilation includes universal sentiments, classic spouse conundrums, and pandemic-specific realities for people in long-term love

Here they are, linked to the original tweets so you can follow the creators if you wish, and written out in text for our friends with audio aids. Grab your partner and have a good chuckle at your own expense:


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Lainey and baby goat Annie. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse
True

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Back in 2015, Lainey bought a farm in Oregon and got her first goats who she named Ansel and Adams. "Once I got them, I was obsessed," says Lainey. "It was hard to get me off the farm to go do anything else."

Right away, she noticed what a calming presence they had. "Even the way they chew their cud is relaxing to be around because it's very methodical," she says. Lainey was going through a divorce and dealing with a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis at the time, but even when things got particularly hard, the goats provided relief.

"I found it impossible to be stressed or depressed when I was with them."

She started inviting friends up to the farm for what she called "Goat Happy Hour." Soon, the word spread about Lainey's delightful, stress-relieving furry friends. At one point, she auctioned off a child's birthday party at her farm, and the mom asked if they could do yoga with the goats. And lo, the idea for goat yoga was born.

A baby goat on a yoga student. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse

Goat yoga went viral so much so that by fall of 2016, Lainey was able to quit her office manager job at a remodeling company to manage her burgeoning goat yoga business full-time. Now she has 10 locations nationwide.

Lainey handles the backend management for all of her locations, and loves that side of the business too, even though it's less goat-related. "I still have my own personal Goat Happy Hour every single day so I still get to spend a lot of time with my goats," says Lainey. "I get the best of both worlds."

Lainey with her goat Fabio. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse

Since COVID-19 hit, her locations have had to close temporarily. She hopes her yoga locations will be able to resume classes in the spring when the vaccine is more widely available. "I think people will need goat yoga more than ever before, because everyone has been through so much stress in 2020," says Lainey.

Major life changes like Lainey's can come around for any number of reasons. Even if they seem out of left field to some, it doesn't mean they're not the right moves for you. The new FOX series "Call Me Kat", which premieres Sunday, January 3rd after NFL and will continue on Thursday nights beginning January 7th, exemplifies that. The show is centered around Kat, a 39-year old single woman played by Mayim Bialik, who quit her math professor job and spent her life's savings to pursue her dreams to open a Cat Café in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jeff Harry started making similar moves when he was just 10-years-old, and kept making them throughout his life. After seeing the movie "Big,"Jeff knew he wanted to play with toys for a living, so he started writing toy companies asking for next steps. He finally got a response when he was a sophomore in high school — the company told him he needed to become a mechanical engineer first.

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Rep. Raskin provided an honest answer to that question in a way that is both heartbreaking and perfect. In a statement published on Medium, Raskin and Bloom shared the details of Tommy's life so beautifully, it makes anyone who reads it feel like we knew him. It also exemplifies how to talk about a loved one who is taken by mental illness.

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In the chaos of the attack on the Capitol two days ago, some important stories have gotten a bit buried. One story that's not getting the attention it should—ironically, because journalists usually do everything they can to not make themselves the story—is the violent attacks on the press that took place.

New York Times staff photographer Erin Schaff described her harrowing experience in a Twitter post shared by her colleague Emily Cochrane.

In Schaff's words:

"Grabbing my press pass, they saw that my ID said The New York Times and became really angry. They threw me to the floor, trying to take my cameras. I started screaming for help as loudly as I could. No one came. People just watched. At this point, I thought I could be killed and no one would stop them. They ripped one of my cameras away from me, broke a lens on the other and ran away.

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