“On Monday morning, Facebook introduced Marketplace, a new section on its mobile app that allowed its users to buy and sell with their friends and strangers,” nytimes.com reports. “By the evening, the social giant was apologizing for an issue with the section, which featured some posts that would not have been out of place on the online black market Silk Road, which was shut down by the F.B.I. in 2013.” Specifically . . .
Illegal drugs. Dogs. Guns. Sexual services. Baby hedgehogs. Selling all of these items and services on Facebook goes against the site’s commerce policy. And all of them were available on Marketplace on Monday.
You may recall that Facebook launched an anti-gun sales jihad last July. You may also recall that TTAG and more than a dozen other firearms-related Facebook publishers suffered a dramatic page view loss when person or person unknown flagged our pages for inappropriate content. Check this out . . .
Users who bought and sold products within groups had also violated the website’s commerce policy. In July, Mike Monteiro, a web designer who started a campaign to help monitor the social network for sales of guns, said that he had reported about 500 posts or groups that violated Facebook’s ban on weapons sales in the past month, and that the website had taken down only about two-thirds of them.
So now we know: the San Francisco designer is the ring leader of the group of anti-gunners who use online pester power to penalize posters with pro-gun proclivities. Make no mistake, Monteiro doesn’t pull any punches, even in his Twitter page description (“This is a personal account and does not reflect the opinions of my boss, who is an asshole.”)
I’ve emailed Mr. Monteiro. That should be fun. Meanwhile, Facebook police are now swarming over Marketplace, doing their algorithmic best to stop firearms sales on their killer app (so to speak). How great is 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,” [Mary Ku, a director for product management at Facebook] said. “We apologize for this issue.”
Yeah, about that “properly identifying” bit . . . stay off of my lawn!