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Ryan McQueeney

Facebook Blames "Technical Issue" for Illegal Listings on Marketplace


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Just one day after the launch of its new e-commerce platform “Marketplace” was marred by listings for illegal products, Facebook (FB - Analyst Report) is saying that a “technical issue” is to blame for numerous posts advertising drugs, animals, and adult services on the site.

Facebook director of product management Mary Ku told Business Insider that the company is “working to fix the problem.”

The social media giant rolled out the new Marketplace platform to all users over the age of 18 in the U.S., U.K., Australia, and New Zealand this week after several months of testing in limited markets. A new shop icon was added to the Facebook app, allowing users to see pictures of items for sale near them.

Transactions are finalized through direct message communication between the buyer and seller, and all the other details, including payment method and delivery, are worked out without the help of Facebook.

If this business model sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve already heard of or used Craigslist, a location-based online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers. Just like Craigslist, Marketplace is relatively hands off and users have to arrange meeting up on their own.

Marketplace actually seems to improve upon Craigslist’s ideas by allowing potential buyers to view the Facebook profiles of sellers, which should deter scammers. Facebook’s entrance into the e-commerce business should also scare other reselling websites like eBay (EBAY - Analyst Report) .

For more on the launch of Marketplace, check out our full story:  Facebook Takes on E-Commerce with Marketplace.

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