Facebook launched a new feature earlier this week to facilitate local buying and selling in communities. The feature, called Marketplace, allows users to post an ad for a product or service that they would like to sell. People nearby can see those ads in Marketplace and then decide with the seller on terms and payment, Facebook doesn’t concern itself with any of that, the new feature is actually akin to Craigslist in many ways which is why it’s not surprising that Cragislist-type ads started popping up Marketplace soon after launch. People are using Facebook Marketplace to sell everything from sex to baby hedgehogs.


Ads have been posted for illegal drugs, sexual services, guns, dogs, and yes, baby hedgehogs. Facebook’s existing commerce policy prohibits against selling all of these items on the social network and yet they were being hawked via Marketplace.

Facebook quickly went into damage control mode. Director for product management at Facebook Mary Ku said that a technical issue prevented the social network’s reviewing system from identifying ads that violated its community standards and commerce policies. She added that this issue caused “certain posts with content that violated our policies” to be visible to users.

Not only did she apologize for the issue on behalf of Facebook, Ku also said that “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.”

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