There are concerning developments for Facebook, as the social media platform continues to be associated with negative news. From accusations of privacy breaches to allegations of censorship, Facebook has rarely been out of the spotlight. The latest issue is the discovery of harmful products being sold on the platform's marketplace, which are being linked to several infant deaths.
The issue is that many government regulators have written to the social media giant, warning them of the prohibited items on the Facebook marketplace. Four members of Congress said there were thousands of requests for Facebook to remove these items from the marketplace. But it seems like they are adamant about the whole situation.
In a letter sent Friday to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the lawmakers didn't hesitate to call out some of the products in the marketplace linked with killing hundreds of children. Some of them mentioned in the letter were Boppy loungers, identified as harmful in 2021. Then the two others are the Fisher-Price Rock ’n Play and an infant sleep product. These two were also identified as detrimental to children in 2019.
Apparently, before writing this letter directly to the Meta CEO, there were already thousands of requests for them to remove the products. According to the lawmakers, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has sent Meta about 1,000 monthly requests since 2022.
However, the tech giant hasn't made an effort to remove those products despite the complaints. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the House Energy and Commerce Committee chair; Frank Pallone Jr., the panel’s ranking member; Gus Bilirakis, and Jan Schakowsky are the lawmakers who came together to write this letter to Meta.
Some parts of the letter read, "To date, the volume of takedown requests has not slowed, and CPSC staff is unaware of any proactive measures Meta has taken to prevent these postings in the future."
Lawmakers Threaten Legal Actions, Meta Responds
The situation escalated when lawmakers threatened a lawsuit if Facebook Marketplace continued to allow these dangerous items. The products in question have been found to be harmful to children, and it is Facebook's responsibility to remove them from their platform.
"Meta’s failure to prevent recalled products from being posted for sale on its platform has resulted in your users and their children being placed at risk of purchasing and using a product that CPSC has found to pose a serious risk of injury and potential death," the lawmakers added.
However, Meta, on the other hand, was very quick to respond to the statements made by the lawmakers. Meta said they are always quick to remove any goods which they find harmful for both children and adults.
The Meta spokesperson said, "like other platforms where people can buy and sell goods, there are instances of people knowingly or unknowingly selling recalled goods on Marketplace. We take this issue seriously and when we find listings that violate our rules, we remove them."
It will be interesting to see how this case pans out between the lawmakers and Meta. Assuming Meta doesn't comply with the requests, they may be hit back with a lawsuit.