The knife, in case you’re not aware, is the world’s oldest tool. It’s been around for close to 3 million years and is suffused in cultural and historical significance. At Knife Depot, we’re proud to be able to offer an inventory of 10,000 knives to customers across the U.S. and abroad. It’s a product we cherish and believe in.
Our customers use their knives everyday in a wide array of capacities. Whether they’re hunters or fisherman, outdoorsman or collectors, their relationships with knives are built upon a love for craftsmanship, self-reliance and the outdoors.
It’s for that reason that we’ve become deeply dismayed by recent efforts by companies like Google and Facebook to label completely legal knives as weapons and to restrict their advertisement on the Internet
In March, I wrote about our battles with Google’s AdWords program, in which our entire account had been shut down due to the fact that we sold completely legal assisted-opening knives that were never prohibited in Google’s AdWords policy.
At the time, we didn’t expect to ever be able to advertise with Google again, however, we had our account re-activated in May with the caveat that none of our landing pages could have assisted-opening knives on them.
Then, just this month, our AdWords account was once again shut down without any advanced notice. We were informed that Google considered “throwing knives” to be weapons and we could not run any ads to those pages.
Wait, a throwing knife is a weapon?
The characterization of throwing knives as weapons, was of course, news to us and anyone who has ever used a throwing knife before. Every throwing knife we sell has been designed for hitting bullseyes, not bodies.
Could you injure someone with a throwing knife? Sure, in the same way you could injure someone with a baseball, a frying pan, a brick, a bottle, a rabid cat or a slew of other projectiles that can become weapons if paired with malicious intent.
However, a throwing knife is poorly suited for criminal activity. These knives are generally large, making them hard to conceal; they have blunt edges and they’re damn hard to throw with fatal accuracy. I mean, let’s be honest, are you really going to be more afraid of a guy like this trying to rob you then someone with a chainsaw they bought at Walmart?
I rest my case. But Google wasn’t swayed, so they banned us and all other advertisers from advertising bodacious, throwing blades, despite the fact that their Adwords policy doesn’t mention any prohibition of “throwing knives.”
Facebook Also Fears the Almighty Power of The Blade
So, we couldn’t run any more ads for throwing knives, but neither could any of our competitors. And, at least, we still had Facebook, arguably the world’s most robust platform for demographically-targeted advertising, to alert our legions of knife fans to our products.
For three years, Knife Depot has pretty much crushed it on Facebook, amassing 48,000 fans and a whole lot of social media love. Our success has come the hard way, as we have been banned from boosting posts due to Facebook’s interpretation of a knife as a “weapon.”
Since we couldn’t boost our posts, we recently started running Facebook ads via a pretty badass company called Ad Roll. But before we could even get cranking, we received notice from Ad Roll that our ads had slashed by Facebook’s anti-knife policy.
So I have some less than pleasant news for you. It looks like Facebook is following suit with Google and tightening their policies. We are going to have to take down the current facebook ads and (and the news feeds ads which never got started) which is a total bummer. I have had our ops team trying to push them through anyway, but we’ve hit a brick wall with it.
A Knife Isn’t a Weapon; It’s a Lifesaving Tool
A knife isn’t a weapon; it’s a tool, and one that saves lives every year. Just last week, in the tragic plane crash in San Francisco, police officers tossed utility knives to passengers so they could cut themselves out of seat belts. On this blog alone, we’ve chronicled dozens of incidents in which knives have saved lives.
If Facebook wants to criminalize knives, why stop there? Why not restrict advertising for golf clubs, one of which was used just last week by a man who bludgeoned a woman to death in Arizona. How about baseball bats? Earlier this month, a deranged man killed a homeless man with one in a sporting goods store in California.
The bottom line is that there are hundreds of products that can be used for malicious crimes if the person who owns them is hell-bent on destruction.
What Knife Depot is Doing and How You Can Help
Most of the anti-knife reaction by Internet companies unfortunately mirrors much of the anti-knife hysteria that exists out in public. At Knife Depot, we’re proud to support organizations like Knife Rights and the American Knife and Tool Association, which lobby on behalf of knife owners.
If you want to cut away at anti-knife sentiment, consider donating to either of these two organizations. You can also share this blog post to alert others to the anti-knife policies of companies like Facebook and Google. Thanks for being a Knife Depot fan and rest assured we’ll never back down on our commitment to selling top-quality knives, no matter how much discrimination our product faces.