On Friday, Facebook announced that it would even more attempt to restrict coronavirus-related mayhem on its platform by banning commerce listings and ads for medical face masks.
” We’re keeping track of COVID19 carefully and will make necessary updates to our policies if we see people attempting to exploit this public health emergency situation,” Facebook Director of Product Management Rob Leathern said in an update on Twitter. “We’ll start presenting this modification in the days ahead.”
Update: We’re banning ads and commerce listings selling medical face masks.
— Rob Leathern (@robleathern) March 7, 2020
” We are temporarily banning ads and commerce listings that offer medical face masks,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Our groups are keeping an eye on the COVID19 scenario carefully and will make essential updates to our policies if we see people attempting to exploit this public health emergency.”
Facebook will likewise limit any ads for medical items that indicate a restricted supply or develop a sense of urgency among potential buyers, as well as advertisements that make guarantees for COVID-19 “cures” or prevention. Together with those modifications, in the next few days Facebook will start obstructing coronavirus-themed groups and pages from its algorithmic recommendations.
Amazon is working to eradicate “high priced deals” on items like hand sanitizer and face masks from its marketplace, while Ebay has prohibited all listings for N95 and N100 face masks, hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes.
On Wednesday, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) composed an open letter to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos expressing concern over “continued reports of cost gouging and an absence of openness” on the site.
” Nobody needs to be permitted to gain a windfall from fear and human suffering,” Markey wrote, including that online merchants have a “particular duty” to secure consumers in the midst of the coronavirus break out.
Earlier this week, Facebook announced that coronavirus-related searches on its platform would be greeted with an automatic pop-up including info from the World Health Company and local health authorities.
” Offered the developing scenario, we’re dealing with nationwide ministries of health and companies like the WHO, CDC and UNICEF to assist them go out timely, accurate information on the coronavirus,” Mark Zuckerberg wrote in an upgrade on his business’s efforts. “We’re offering the WHO as numerous complimentary advertisements as they require for their coronavirus action along with other in-kind assistance.”
The company is also concentrated on cutting possibly lethal coronavirus misinformation, eliminating ads, conspiracy theories and treatment claims with no scientific basis. Facebook’s choice to disable advertisements for face masks comes at a time when health authorities are advising well individuals to pass up buying the masks, both because they are not essential for healthy people to wear and due to the fact that demand for the masks is restricting their supply for the medical employees who require them most.