Facebook apologizes for drugs, guns and other goods listed on ‘Marketplace’

Drugs, sex and guns on Facebook?

The social media giant just rolled out a new feature that allows users to buy and sell goods on Monday, but the online marketplace is already being filled with items that Facebook bars users from selling.

That included recreational drugs, weapons, animals and other products that the company prohibits on its site as part of its commerce policy or community standards, users reported.

Mary Ku, director of product management at Facebook, told multiple media outlets including USA Today that a technical glitch prevented the tech firm from flagging posts that advertised goods against the company’s policies.

“As a result, certain posts with content that violated our policies were made visible to people visiting Marketplace,” Ku said in an emailed 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.”

Some analysts on Tuesday called the Marketplace mishap a “non-event.”

“Some investors have wondered if this misstep is a sign that processes at Facebook are deteriorating,” Gene Munster, an analyst for Piper Jaffray, wrote in a note. “Launching new products, particularly social products and marketplaces where the content is up to users, always has the potential to yield unintended consequences. We believe nothing has changed in Facebook’s ability to go after new markets and build world-class products and thus view the noise around Marketplace as a non-event.”

Facebook, which started barring gun sales this year, has faced criticism for not doing enough to enforce its policies. Despite the ban, news outlets have discovered that guns are still being sold on the social media site.

Photo by Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images




Share this Post

  • David Chubrick

    Misstep? What misstep? They wanted to roll out a service just like Craigslist. Seems to be working just fine…

  • Sam Z.

    This was bound to happen, right from the word go. Trust humans to break/ bend every rule that exists.