person in medical face mask

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Facebook is banning ads for face masks amid coronavirus

Facebook wants to cut down on people profiting from fear of coronavirus.

Mar 8, 2020, 7:47 pm*

Tech

Brooke Sjoberg 

Brooke Sjoberg

In a statement update from Facebook on Friday, the social media platform announced it would be removing ads and marketplace listings for medical face masks amid the coronavirus outbreaks.

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Mass panic over the coronavirus has made face masks scarce and difficult for healthcare professionals to get ahold of, according to Gizmodo. The U.S. Surgeon General and World Health Organization have both asked the public not to buy surgical masks because the shortage puts healthcare workers at risk.

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Users are also no longer allowed to make claims regarding the coronavirus in product listings in order to curb the spread of misinformation about false cures and preventatives.

The Guardian reports that the measures will help reduce exploitation of fear as a means of profit. The masks are meant to be used by those who are already ill, and banning the ads is also expected to reduce price gouging of face masks.

Facebook’s statement also indicates that listings suspected of being in violation of local laws could be reported to local authorities.

The rules will apply to Instagram as well.

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H/T: Gizmodo

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*First Published: Mar 8, 2020, 7:35 pm