Coronavirus has brought people on the verge that they are getting exploited on several e-commerce platforms for healthcare items such as facemasks. To prevent this exploitation, the social media giant, Facebook is banning ads and commercial listings about medical gear such as face masks.
Not only Facebook, but eBay has also struck down some listing related to the COVID-19. Retail giant, Amazon is also cutting down on sellers who are overcharging on critical health items like face masks.
Facebook also said that it is looking out for the emergency situation regarding the Coronavirus and the damage it can cause. The social media giant is closely examining the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19.
Facebook is on the move to ban all the facemask related ads
Rob Leathern, Product MD, Facebook, says, ‘We are on the move to ban ads, commercials, and listings regarding the sale of face masks. We are aware of this pandemic situation and are also closely examining the Coronavirus. We will make and implement necessary updates in our policies if we come across cases where people are trying to exploit this health emergency for their business. We are also planning to start rolling out multiple changes in the coming days.’
The company also said that it is temporarily banning certain ads and product listings in the markets that sell face masks. Facebook also added ‘We are discouraging people from making health claims related to the coronavirus on multiple commercial portals.
We are also prohibiting those particular product listings that guarantee safety against the virus as the misguidance will put even more lives in danger.
‘Our teams are closely analyzing the situation and will come up with necessary changes in our policies if someone tries to exploit this emergency.’, said Facebook in a post.
The US Surgeon General discourages people from buying the masks
Jerome Adams, Surgeon General, US tweeted ‘People need to stop buying those facemasks. STOP BUYING THOSE MASKS PEOPLE! They are not effective in preventing the public from getting infected with COVID-19.
If healthcare providers are unable to safeguard the health of their patients and the general public then this puts them and our communities at even greater risk.’
CDC does not recommend face masks for each and every one
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend healthy individuals to put on face masks. CDC also made it clear that people who are showing strong signs and are suffering from the disease must wear masks and not everyone. Face Masks should be used only by the infected to help prevent the spread to others.
Family members who are taking care of those suffering from the disease and healthcare workers should also get these facemasks.
Instagram is redirecting hashtags to WHO and the local health bodies
Last Friday, Facebook posted ‘Instagram is already taking various steps to address the problems lurking around the COVID-19. It is strictly removing each and every wrong information regarding the virus. We do not want people to get misguided and wrongly informed.
Instagram is also banning all the ads and listings that exploit the situation. It is also sending most of the posts, articles, links, and hashtags to fact-checkers for truth.
Many hashtags are blocked now. Every link related to the virus is redirected to accounts of local health bodies and WHO.
The situation has arrived where people are blindly purchasing medical gear like facemasks. The e-commerce platforms are getting stronger and are exploiting people by using special hashtags such as:
- Short supply
- Prices are up
- Stock won’t last
All in all
As more and more are buying these medical items, the present situation is putting the lives of healthcare workers in danger. People who are taking care of patients at home and at medical facilities are running out of facemasks to protect themselves.
Facebook, Instagram, WHO, CDC, and the local health bodies are completely against such outcomes and very soon the social media will roll out strict plans if it sees anyone exploiting people in a situation like this.