On March 6, Facebook promised that it would begin cracking down on advertisements for medical face masks and other fraudulent coronavirus-related content. The company also said that it would begin to remove the ads “over the next few days.” However, according to consumer groups Digital Citizens Alliance and the Coalition for a Safer Web, these ads have continued to appear on Facebook at an alarming rate almost two weeks later.
For its part, Facebook said that it has taken down tens of thousands of posts already. However, the social media giant also admitted it still has a lot of work to do before it can snuff out the problem.
“We don’t typically share specifics on any mechanisms since bad actors attempt to get around them, but it takes time for algorithms/reviewers to train + roll out enforcement,” Facebook director of product management Rob Leathern said. “I wish it were as simple as turning on a switch but alas it is not… Like I said, you’ll start seeing the enforcement crank up and we will share more updates on our progress here soon.”
Even though Facebook had the best of intentions with this new policy, it’s clear the company must get better at enforcing it — and fast — if they want to prevent users from buying up medical supplies that the professionals desperately need.
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