Just yesterday we told you about how Facebook may be trying to replace Craigslist. Their feature, Marketplace, is rolling out over the next few days in a few countries. It allows people to buy and sell items such as furniture and electronics through the social media site.
Once Marketplace was made available, people began to use it for illegal activity.
Facebook set up a commerce policy that was vehemently ignored. Within hours of the Marketplace's release, people were selling guns, adult services, drugs, and animals on the app. Someone even tried to sell a baby!
facebook marketplace is already popping pic.twitter.com/Qc1joZAthD
— vex (@stevenvexed) October 3, 2016
Facebook's director of product management, Mary Ku, apologized on behalf of the company last night. She says a technical issue kept them from finding posts that broke the commerce policy. She says they plan to fix the issue before making Marketplace available to more Facebook users. Here's what its Commerce Policy says:
- Illegal, prescription or recreational drugs;
- Tobacco items and related paraphernalia;
- Unsafe supplements;
- Weapons, ammunition or explosives;
- Adult items or services;
- Adult health items;
- Real money gambling services;
- Goods, items or posts that we determine may be or are fraudulent, misleading, deceptive or offensive;
- Items or products with overtly sexualized positioning;
- Non-physical items are prohibited on Facebook Marketplace, including but not limited to services, subscriptions, digital products, or rentals."
Marketplace is only available for people on Facebook over the age of 18. When you make a Facebook account, it requests your date of birth and uses that information to assess your age. Make sure your kids aren't lying about their age in their account information or else they may be able to view the inappropriate items being sold in Marketplace.
This isn't the first time Facebook has had to apologize for a mistake and we don't think it will be the last. Their trending feature recently promoted a 9/11 conspiracy theory story on the 15th anniversary of the attacks and a false news story about Megyn Kelly being fired from FOX News. Back in March, a Safety Check alert was sent to people who were nowhere near the crisis. (Safety Check is a feature that lets people mark themselves safe during emergencies.)
When it comes to most new technologies, there tend to be problems at first. We suggest not using Marketplace until all the kinks are worked out.