The Novel Coronavirus outbreak has taken the world by storm and as countries scramble to fight the virus, the tech giants are fighting a totally different battle. Ever since the outbreak became global, tech companies are fighting to take down fake news and misinformation about the novel Coronavirus. Last week, both Facebook and Amazon took steps to remove products that were claiming to cure or protect people from Coronavirus.
Now, Facebook has announced that the company will not be allowing face mask ads on its platforms to prevent price gouging.
Update: 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.
— Rob Leathern (@robleathern) March 7, 2020
In a statement given to TechCrunch, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed the news which is aimed at prevents people from profiting off a health emergency.
We are temporarily banning advertisements and commerce listings that sell medical face masks. Our teams are monitoring the COVID19 situation closely and will make necessary updates to our policies if we see people trying to exploit this public health emergency.
The company will also be limiting any ads related to medical or essential supply that might cause panic or create a sense of urgency.
The Novel Coronavirus outbreak has also forced companies to cancel their events. Last month, GSMA announced its decision to cancel MWC 2020 after most of the big players dropped out. This was then followed by Facebook cancelling F8 summit, Microsoft cancelling Ignite Tour in several countries and the cancellation of GDC 2020. Facebook has also cancelled its Global Marketing Summit which was followed by Oppo and Xiaomi cancelling their respective events. Earlier this week, Microsoft cancelled the MVP Global Summit while Adobe and Google cancelled their respective events.