KEY POINTS

  • Google has enforced a temporary ban on ads related to medical face mask
  • The search engine giant has restricted the ban to only face masks
  • Earlier, Facebook has also implemented a ban on medical face mask ads 

The coronavirus outbreak continues to spread across continents and that is leading to widespread panic among people. The demand for medical face masks and other hygiene-related products are skyrocketing and it is not a surprise that people are getting coronavirus-related ads while surfing the web.

However, Google has considered this and temporarily prohibiting ads for medical face masks, which have snowballed online.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to temporarily ban all medical face mask ads,” a spokesperson for Google told CNBC. The search engine giant is “actively monitoring the situation and will continue to take action as needed to protect users.”

Meanwhile, this ban applies only to medical face masks and other related products are out of this ban. Earlier, medical experts have asked people to stop buying medical face masks. The experts have warned that masks are not effective in protecting the person from coronavirus.

According to the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), if you are not sick, then there is no need to wear a face mask. However, if you are taking care of someone sick, then, you can wear one. “Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers,” CDC noted in an advisory.

On Friday, Facebook announced that it is temporarily commercial listings and ads related to medical face masks.

“Update: We’re banning ads and commerce listings selling medical face masks. We’re monitoring COVID19 closely and will make necessary updates to our policies if we see people trying to exploit this public health emergency. We’ll start rolling out this change in the days ahead,” Rob Leathern, Director of Product Management at Facebook tweeted on March 7.

Meanwhile, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, also tweeted that prices are shooting upwards due to short supplies and the company is against “people exploiting this public health emergency.”

The number of coronavirus cases has touched the 1,000 mark in the U.S and as many as 31 people have lost their lives due to this deadly virus, CNN reported.

Google and Facebook say they are seeking to promote credible information while limiting the spread of hoaxes about the deadly coronavirus epidemic Google and Facebook say they are seeking to promote credible information while limiting the spread of hoaxes about the deadly coronavirus epidemic Photo: AFP / DENIS CHARLET