Facebook has apologized and promised to fix system guidelines that have resulted in blocking volunteer groups sharing information about how to make and donate homemade masks for the medical community.
In early March, as part of efforts to block potentially harmful content about the coronavirus and price gouging, Facebook announced that it would ban ads for masks, hand sanitizers and other safety equipment. It has also removed most mask-related posts on its Marketplace.
However, Facebook has also been threatening to ban organizers of hand-sewn masks from posting or commenting, mask-makers told The New York Times. The system has been putting these volunteers in “Facebook Jail” or even threatening to delete their groups.
“The automated systems we set up to prevent the sale of medical masks needed by health workers have inadvertently blocked some efforts to donate supplies,” Facebook said in a statement published by the Times. “We apologize for this error and are working to update our systems to avoid mistakes like this going forward. We don’t want to put obstacles in the way of people doing a good thing.”