Facebook Apologises after Guns, Drugs and Hedgehogs Listed for Sale

Facebook has apologised after guns, drugs and even baby hedgehogs were listed for sale on its new Marketplace section.

Marketplace launched on Monday in the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand, and the social network said a technical issue meant items had appeared for sale that violated its policies.

Images of illegal drugs and firearms as well as snakes and baby hedgehogs for sale were posted to other social media by early users of the service, as were adverts appearing to offer cash for manual labour. This violates Facebook’s policy on the sale of non-physical items, including services.

Facebook said in a statement: “As we expanded Marketplace access, we encountered a technical issue that prevented our reviewing system from identifying some posts that violated our commerce policies and community standards. As a result, certain posts with content that violated our policies were made visible to people visiting Marketplace.

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“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. We apologise for this issue.”

Marketplace is intended to rival other e-commerce services including eBay and Amazon. It is also intended to streamline the buying and selling of items on Facebook, an activity in which more than 450 million people a month participate, according to the site.

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