Facebook (META 7.19%) has added hand sanitizer, surface disinfecting wipes, and COVID-19 test kits to the list of ads it is banning on its platform. It's in addition to an existing ban on advertisements for surgical face masks.
In a Tweet, Rob Leathern, director of product management at Facebook, said the ban is another step in the company's efforts to protect users from price gouging and predatory behavior online. "We'll be ramping up our automated enforcement for ads and commerce next week. If we see abuse around these products in organic posts, we'll remove those, too," Leathern said.
The latest move is part of Facebook's work to stem the flow of misinformation and fake ads swirling all over the Internet. Two weeks ago it began banning surgical face mask ads but they were still showing up as of this week. Facebook also announced this week that it is transitioning to a "reduced and remote workforce" including in the content review department. That means it will rely more on technology, resulting in delayed reviews for ads and commerce listings, an increase in ads being incorrectly disapproved and delayed or reduced appeals. The social media giant has also teamed up with the World Health Organization to disseminate timely and accurate information and added a coronavirus information center to the top of news feeds.
Alphabet's (GOOG 5.20%) (GOOGL 5.11%) Google and Amazon (AMZN 3.58%) have also announced bans on ads for medical face masks, hand sanitizers, and disinfectant wipes amid coronavirus price gouging. Google recently did an about-face when it comes to ads running alongside coronavirus videos, lifting the ban it had in place.