Facebook didn't mean to let you sell guns and hedgehogs

It says a glitch prevented it from screening Marketplace for contraband.

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Kimu_tae, Getty Images/Flickr RF
Kimu_tae, Getty Images/Flickr RF

Facebook's newly launched Marketplace is meant to help you sell all kinds of goods, but it turns out the service has been a little too permissive in its early days. The company has apologized after a "technical issue" with its screening system let Marketplace users sell items that either violate its policies or are downright illegal, including babies, drugs, guns and... baby hedgehogs. Really. It's promising to "fix the problem" and will make sure that it's correctly removing forbidden listings before expanding access.

As the New York Times observes, this isn't the first time Facebook has had trouble with contraband. There has been a rash of Facebook groups dedicated to gun sales, and the social network's community-based approach to group screening has limited effectiveness in private selling groups where members are unlikely to report violations. Marketplace isn't supposed to have that issue, but it's evident that Facebook is still relatively new to reviewing sales itself -- the months-long rollout for Marketplace may be necessary to ensure that violations are few and far between.

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