Facebook bans ads, e-com listings for medical face masks amid coronavirus outbreak

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.

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.

“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. tags

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