7 March 2020
Facebook pledges to ban medical face mask ads

Facebook pledges to ban medical face mask ads

Ralph Peters / Imago / TASS

Facebook has temporarily banned ads and commerce listings selling medical face masks on its platforms – the restriction was announced on the company's website on March 6th.

Facebook has noted that the company is monitoring the spread of the coronavirus and will update its policies if it sees people trying to use the situation for personal gain. “Supply is short, prices are up, and we’re against people exploiting this public panichealth emergency”, commented Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri. “We’ll start rolling this out over the next few days”.

The social network banned ads promising users a cure to the disease late last month, along with ads “referring to the coronavirus in ways intended to create a panic”. In addition, the company said that it would delete dubious messages about the coronavirus on its News Feed.

Facebook isn’t the only corporation responding to coronavirus-linked price gouging. Medical mask sellers on Amazon began to raise prices in late February, leading to a swift response from the online retailer - the company threatened to remove sellers from the platform if they were suspected of price gouging.

The coronavirus outbreak began at the end of December 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The largest number of Covid-19 cases have been registered in China, South Korea, Italy and Iran.