Earlier this week, Facebook introduced a new feature called Marketplace on its mobile app that allows users to buy and sell things with both friends and strangers. However, within the first 24 hours of the tool’s existence, Facebook was apologizing for some pretty shocking listings that appeared on it.
The site said that a technical issue prevented Facebook from properly filtering the feature, leading to listings for drugs, guns, adult services, animals and even a baby. While some of these posts are doubtlessly a joke (one man was trying to “sell” his pregnant girlfriend for $400, for instance), some scary posts still snuck through.
“As a result [of the technical issue], certain posts with content that violated our policies were made visible to people visiting Marketplace,” Mary Ku, Facebook’s director of product management, said in a statement. “We are working to fix the problem and will be closely monitoring our systems to ensure we are properly identifying and removing violations before giving more people access to Marketplace. We apologize for this issue.”
Some experts have been critical of Facebook’s Marketplace feature, noting that it doesn’t offer much of an incentive for users to leave competitors like Amazon’s marketplace or Craigslist. Serious incidents like this one right after the tool’s launch won’t do much to endear it to potential users, either.