Markey Asks Instagram To Help Curb Gun Sales

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) is using his bully senatorial pulpit to try and get video/photo-sharing site, Instagram, to prevent its site from being a vehicle for "widespread weapons trading."

In a letter to company CEO Kevin Systrom, Markey said that the site should follow no-gun policies of sites like Craigslist and eBay.

Citing a Daily Beast story, Markey said that he was concerned that the growing number of the site's users racking up unregistered gun sales using Instagram's mobile ap since they are not required to register as a seller or disclose their identity.

He also points out that Instagram parent, Facebook, does not allow firearms or ammunition ads, including defensive weapons like pepper spray and even paintball guns.

"I encourage Instagram to take similar steps and adopt safe business practices that curb the marketing and sale of guns," Markey said.

Instagram had not returned a request for comment at press time.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.