When the COVID-19 numbers started rising worldwide in March, panic set across social media as well. But even in such sire conditions, there are always people waiting to profit from the gullibility of others. When Facebook realized their platforms can be exploited to sell non-medical masks to the panicked public, it put in strict restrictions. It has been able to control the sale of non-medical masks on its social media platforms but now easing the restrictions. Non-medical face masks can now be sold on both Facebook and Instagram.
As per Facebook:
“Many health authorities now advise wearing non-medical masks – and in some places masks are required for activities like taking public transportation or visiting a store – and we’ve seen people and businesses of all sizes working to fill this need. So we’re scaling back this temporary ban to allow people to promote and trade non-medical masks, including those that are homemade or handmade, in organic posts, ads and commerce listings on Facebook and Instagram.”
In the initial stage of the outbreak, individuals and companies selling face masks tried to create an atmosphere of panic. They hiked the prices to capitalize on public fear.
In March, the standing official medical advice was that face masks would not necessarily protect us. The US Surgeon General even discouraged Americans from buying face masks because there was not enough supply for medical professionals.
The common public came forward to get enough mask supplies for healthcare workers. Now, many states are reopening for the common public. People will be venturing out and we need to curb community transmission as much as possible. Everyone has to wear a mask when out in public places and follow other social distancing and hygiene measures. Hence Facebook is willing to ease some restrictions to make sure everyone has access to face masks.
Facebook will continue the temporary ban on medical masks like the N95 or surgical masks.
“People will now be able to promote masks that are non-medical grade, provided they are not marketed using medical, health or prevention claims. Common examples of non-medical masks include handmade masks, reusable masks or masks created out of household fabrics (e.g. cotton, cloth, denim, etc.) or refashioned non-conventional materials (e.g. neoprene, wetsuits, board shorts, etc.).”
Advertisers who want to sell non-medical grade face masks must currently be in good standing”. They must have a minimum history of 4 months of advertising on the platform.
Facebook will be strictly monitoring the latest directives to control price gouging. But the genuine sellers who legitimately want to help fellow humans will have better opportunities, thanks to Facebook.
You can find more information regarding the mask promotion rules of Facebook here.