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Facebook lifts the ban on non-medical face masks

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Paawan Sunam
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Facebook will now allow ads, organic posts, and commerce listings of 'non-medical grade' face masks including homemade and handmade masks.

As several health authorities now advise wearing face masks, and with it being a necessary requirement for entering several public places, Facebook will now enable promotion and trade of non-medical masks.

Shortly after prohibiting all health or medical claims related to the coronavirus, Facebook also banned all advertisements and commerce listings of face masks, in March 2020.

They also put a new policy into effect which bans ads that use exploitative tactics to take advantage of the emergency for financial gains. For instance, masks that "claim that they are guaranteed to prevent the virus from spreading" or "are the only ones still available".

Facebook now differentiates between 'medical' and 'non-medical' masks and has lifted the ban on non-medical masks but the temporary ban on medical masks still remains in effect.

Also Read: Facebook Updates: News Tab, Business Inbox, & more

The Differentiation

Medical masks are defined as surgical or N95 masks.

Facebook defines non-medical masks as handmade masks, reusable masks or masks created out of household fabrics such as cotton, cloth, denim, etc. or refashioned non-conventional materials like neoprene, wetsuits, board shorts, etc.

Restrictions & Requirements

Advertisers need to have an advertising history of four months and be in good standing to advertise non-medical masks.

In countries where a higher number of violations were observed during the temporary ban to promote medical supplies, advertisers will only be able to set the target audience to the people in the country their ad account is based in.

The restrictions are in effect to limit scams, misleading medical claims, inflated prices, and hoarding. You can read more about the COVID-19 ad policies here.

With the tailoring industry also being severely hit, several small & homegrown businesses are also looking to shift to manufacturing face masks, and several communities are also working to bridge the gap between demand & supply.

The lift on non-medical masks will help streamline buying & selling of face masks, as businesses are also looking to shift online.

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