Last week, Facebook announced that it would limit the spread of misinformation about the novel coronavirus or COVID-19. Today, Rob Leathern, Team Leader of Facebook’s ads and business products, has tweeted that they will be banning ads that sell medical face masks.
Facebook has already started prohibiting health and medical claims on product listings related to the coronavirus. However, as people “exploit the public health emergency,” the team has decided to ban all ads that sell them. Furthermore, all products listed that guarantee prevention from contracting the disease are also banned on the platform.
Update: We’re banning ads and commerce listings selling medical face masks. We’re monitoring COVID19 closely and will make necessary updates to our policies if we see people trying to exploit this public health emergency. We’ll start rolling out this change in the days ahead.
— Rob Leathern (@robleathern) March 7, 2020
Instagram, also owned by Facebook, has started to follow its parent company’s steps and is starting to ban all misinformation related to COVID-19. Furthermore, hashtags related to the disease will redirect and show users resources from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
We’re removing known harmful misinformation related to COVID-19, and when someone taps on a hashtag related to COVID-19, we show resources from @WHO, @CDC and local health authorities. pic.twitter.com/Dw2Y8ZwfaI
— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) March 6, 2020