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Facebook and Google ban ads selling medical face masks

Image: stock photo w/ edits
Image: stock photo w/ edits
Google and Facebook are responding to price gouging surrounding the sales of medical face masks by banning ads for face masks. The bans are efforts to fight against the exploitative sale of medical supplies amidst growing fears surrounding the spread of the coronavirus.
Sam Medley,
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Amidst growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, Facebook and Google have banned ads selling medical face masks on their respective platforms. 

The bans come as methods to “protect users,” according to a Google spokesperson who spoke with CNBC. In a statement, the spokesperson said:

Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to temporarily ban all medical face mask ads. We’re actively monitoring the situation and will continue to take action as needed to protect users.

Similarly, Facebook’s head of its trust and integrity team for ads and business products, Rob Leathern, said:

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.

The bans seem to be efforts to combat the exploitation of fear surrounding the coronavirus. Many areas in the United States have suffered from shortages of disposable goods typically associated with crises, such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and isopropyl alcohol. Consequently, prices for some of these goods have experienced rampant inflation in local and online marketplaces. 

What are your thoughts on the ban on ads for medical face masks? Let us know in the comments. 

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Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Senior Tech Writer - 1125 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2016
I've been a computer geek my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a database administrator. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news and reviews. I've also written for other outlets including UltrabookReview and GeeksWorldWide, focusing on consumer guidance and video gaming. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not writing on electronics or tinkering with a device, I'm either outside with my family, enjoying a decade-old video game, or playing drums or piano.
contact me via: @samuel_medley
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Sam Medley, 2020-03-12 (Update: 2020-03-12)