Facebook bans ads, e-com listings for medical face masks amid coronavirus outbreak
Facebook said it will make more changes if people try to exploit the public health emergency.
Facebook has imposed a ban on advertisements and e-commerce listings for medical face masks. The move is part of Facebook's effort to contain the misinformation chaos on its platform following the coronavirus outbreak. A similar ban on ads and commerce listings selling medical face masks has been extended to Instagram as well.
"We are temporarily banning advertisements and commerce listings that sell medical face masks. Our teams are monitoring the COVID19 situation closely and will make necessary updates to our policies if we see people trying to exploit this public health emergency," Facebook said.
Facebook is also limiting advertisements for medical products that claim to cure or prevent COVID-19. The ban also extends to the ads for products that try to trigger urgency over limited supply. The social networking company will also put a restriction on groups and pages that are themed on Coronavirus.
We are rolling this out in the coming days, and anticipate profiteers will evolve their approach as we enforce on these ads. Please report if you see such ads showing up (top right corner of ad) and flag here as well for our teams to action https://t.co/t4N6HOCXai— Rob Leathern (@robleathern) March 7, 2020
Earlier, Facebook announced it will give unlimited ad space to the World Health Organisation (WHO) to contain coronavirus misinformation and hoaxes. Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook is giving similar "ad credits" to more organizations and bodies like UNICEF.
Finally, we're thinking through a longer term solution to help connect people searching COVID-19 related terms with credible information. In the meantime, we're showing the accounts of leading health organizations in these searches to better connect people to credible resources. pic.twitter.com/RUNwJh94Cf— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) March 6, 2020
"We're giving the WHO as many free ads as they need for their coronavirus response along with other in-kind support. We'll also give support and millions more in ad credits to other organizations too and we'll be working closely with global health experts to provide additional help if needed," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post.
Instagram, in the meanwhile, said it has removed misleading information around the coronavirus. If someone clicked on hashtag related to COVID-19, it shows content from sources such as WHO and other credible health organizations.