Facebook, Instagram ban ads selling face masks

San Francisco: Facebook and Instagram on Saturday banned ads and commerce listings selling medical face masks on their platforms to stop people from exploiting the coronavirus emergency.

Rob Leathern who leads Trust/Integrity team (for ads and business products) at Facebook, announced the decision on Twitter.

“We’re banning ads and commerce listings selling medical face masks. We’re monitoring COVID-19 closely and will make necessary updates to our policies if we see people trying to exploit this public health emergency,” he tweeted.

Instagram head Adam Mosseri joined him.

“Supplies are short, prices are up, and we’re against people exploiting this public health emergency. We’ll start rolling this out over the next few days,” Mosseri also tweeted.

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Facebook has also announced that coronavirus-related searches on its platform would be greeted with an automatic pop-up featuring information from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Other tech companies have scrambled to stop price gouging and health misinformation.

Amazon is working to eradicate “high priced offers” on products like hand sanitizer and face masks from its marketplace, while Ebay has banned all listings for N95 and N100 face masks, hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes, reports TechCrunch.

Facebook last month announced to ban ads related to coronavirus that promise to cure, prevent or spread panic among the users around COVID-19.

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