When you’re a $366 billion company, your gaffes are that much more memorable. Facebook introduced Marketplace a couple days ago, letting you buy and sell things within your local community. And it took fewer than two days for Marketplace to go sideways.
A lot of the items listed for sale ran the gamut from surreal to straight-up illegal, and the New York Times cried foul. Among these items: Guns. Drugs. Sexual services. Even babies. For a short time, Facebook’s local “classified section” called to mind the notorious online black market Silk Road, except Marketplace was operating in plain daylight. WTF?!
Facebook chalks this mishap up to a technical error that prevented the company from properly moderating Marketplace submissions. To their credit, they leapt to swift action and issued a statement of apology from Mary Ku, Facebook’s director of product management: "We are working to fix the problem and will be closely monitoring our systems to ensure we are properly identifying and removing violations before giving more people access to Marketplace."
Now we can't vouch for these, but below are just a few of the weird things people found available for purchase.
A $150 headband, a £5 for $30, and a pregnant girlfriend:
I'm LOVING the Facebook marketplace idea so far. pic.twitter.com/tb4vCAHOMT— Janneke (@its_Janneke) October 3, 2016
Babies and guns:
Thank you Facebook Marketplace for giving me the opportunity to buy babies or guns... pic.twitter.com/4g08zXkpmk— Zack Neiner (@ZackNeiner) October 3, 2016
A 6-ounce water bottle for $56:
Facebook Marketplace is off to a great start. pic.twitter.com/EkGdbWl7vI— Jon Steinberg (@jonsteinberg) October 3, 2016
Glad FB Marketplace is taking up prime real estate in the app with deals like this!!! pic.twitter.com/a8ugvXJHuU— Jillian D'Onfro (@jillianiles) October 3, 2016
Even a soul!
Facebook Marketplace. Beware EBay - there's a new kid in town. pic.twitter.com/QrM3HhDHw3— Jamie East (@jamieeast) October 4, 2016
So, you know, shop with caution.