Last week, Facebook announced that it would temporarily ban the sale of medical masks on its online marketplace in the coming days, amid growing public fears of a new coronavirus,media reported. As of Monday morning, however, the platform was still flooded with sales of masks, some of which were priced very high.
It is understood that some masks on Facebook Marketplace are only on the shelf for a few hours, while others have been on the shelf for several days. The masks range in price from 75 cents to $1,000. “Don’t catch a surprise when someone coughs next to you,” read a sales list in Kansas City, Missouri. The last batch (masks) in town. “
“Supply is in short supply, prices are rising, and we are against people taking advantage of this public health emergency,” Adam Mosseri, head of Facebook’s Instagram, wrote on Twitter last week.
Users search for “coronavirus” on Facebook Markeplace without jumping out of the list, but when searching for keywords such as “N95,” “N95 mask,” “CoVid-19” and “face mask,” they jump out of the relevant mask content.
Facebook is known to clear these lists by using a combination of automated systems and user tags. “We also have a dedicated channel for local governments to share information that they believe is against local laws,” Facebook said in a blog post. Facebook also said it would update its policy on the ban when it found new ways for people to evade the ban.
“We are closely monitoring the new corona virus, and if we find that someone is trying to take advantage of this public health emergency, we will make the necessary updates to our policy,” Rob Lea, Facebook’s product management director, wrote on Twitter on Friday. “
Facebook’s temporary ban comes as e-commerce giant Amazon says it will not ban masks and other products, but it is working with state attorneys general to catch sellers who commit price fraud on its platform.
On Friday, eBay, another online sales platform, banned the sale of medical masks on its platforms. As with Facebook, however, it’s hard to find a list of these products when searching for words like “coronavirus” or “CoVid-19”, but it’s easier to find them if you search for “masks” or “medical masks.”