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  • Geebo 10:12 am on November 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook Marketplace, National Trading Standards,   

    Counterfeits flooding Facebook Marketplace 

    Counterfeits flooding Facebook Marketplace

    Reports are coming out of the UK’s National Trading Standards, the UK equivalent of the Consumer Protection Agency, that high-end counterfeit goods are flooding Facebook Marketplace. This includes such brands as Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton among others. The reason that counterfeit goods like this are a problem is because they’re often funding organized crime or illegal sweatshops with child labor.

    To compound the problem, the NTS has said that Facebook lacks any channels to report counterfeit goods. It also doesn’t help that fake Facebook profiles can be created with little to no information given. Also, like too many large online marketplaces, Facebook doesn’t seem to monitor or review the Marketplace ads for illegal content. While this may be currently making news in the UK, counterfeits have been sold on Facebook in the US for years predating Facebook Marketplace.

    This story shows two problems inherent in the marketplace industry today. The first is that any online marketplace worth its salt should be checking their own ads that may be harmful to their users. The second is that this is another example of Facebook having unchecked power in our everyday lives. Many people may assume that counterfeit items for sale on Facebook Marketplace are legitimate since Facebook is supposed to be about real people. Instead, it’s as fake as the bags they’re listing for sale.

     
  • Geebo 9:55 am on November 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook Marketplace, RV,   

    BBB reports uptick in Facebook Marketplace scams 

    BBB reports uptick in Facebook Marketplace scams

    The Better Business Bureau has recently reported that they’ve received an increased amount in complaints about Facebook Marketplace. Specifically, the complaints the BBB has been receiving are about big-ticket recreational vehicles like RVs and trailers.

    The scams work the same way that they’ve been working on craigslist. The seller will set up a fake Facebook profile and list an RV for sale. They’ll have some story as to why they’re selling the RV like they’re out of the country or they’re deployed in the military. Then they’ll try to have you pay for the RV with some form of unusual payment such as wiring the money or paying with prepaid credit cards or gift cards. Both methods of payment are virtually untraceable.

    Again, this is just another symptom of the larger problem of classified ads on other sites not being moderated. Facebook moderates their site for all sorts of content violations yet they’re taking the hands off approach when it comes to Marketplace. Then again, what do you expect from the company that took foreign currency payments for American political ads?

     
  • Geebo 8:57 am on August 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook Marketplace   

    Is Facebook Marketplace looking to take a bite out of eBay? 

    Is Facebook Marketplace looking to take a bite out of eBay?

    In Facebook’s further attempts to be all things to all people, they are looking to expand their Marketplace feature to include not just private sellers but businesses as well. This would put Marketplace not only at odds with sites like craigslist, but now would pit them against Amazon and eBay as well. Both of the aforementioned online retail titans have allowed businesses of all sorts to sell their wares through their websites for years now.

    The main difference between Marketplace and eBay is Marketplace does not offer a payment service to use like how eBay relies on PayPal. Sellers and buyers are still expected to work out the financial dealings on their own. As we’ve pointed out in the past, since Marketplace doesn’t moderate their ads well, if at all. This could still lead not only to fraudulent transactions but could also lead to other dangerous incidents such as robbery and the like.

    However, it appears Facebook is only halfheartedly behind Marketplace, not as a disruptor in the online retail space, but more as a way to keep users from wandering out of Facebook’s walled garden. As nice as a garden may look, if you try to prevent users from going elsewhere then it’s just a well-groomed prison.

     
  • Geebo 8:53 am on August 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Avocado, Facebook Marketplace, New Zealand   

    A new criminal enterprise is being run on Facebook Marketplace 

    A new criminal enterprise is being run on Facebook Marketplace

    A new scourge of the criminal underworld has been showing up on Facebook Marketplace in New Zealand. It’s the product of a crime wave that is fueling a black market that could have potentially disastrous results by anyone who buys this product. I am of course speaking of the avocado.

    Avocados have become so popular in the Kiwi nation some people have taken to stealing the crops from farmers and selling the stolen fruit on roadside stands. However, law enforcement have taken to shutting down these illegal stands. So the avocado rustlers have taken to Facebook Marketplace to sell their ill-gotten gains. The problem is, some of the avocados are either unripe or still have insecticide sprayed on them which could be hazardous to anyone who tries to eat them.

    To be fair, while we may be poking a little fun at the situation, it does show that Facebook Marketplace is still largely unmoderated, relying more on community policing. Craigslist has shown in the past community policing does not work in the long run and is more prone to abuse than any actual policing.

     
  • Geebo 8:57 am on August 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Facebook Marketplace   

    Facebook Marketplace follows craigslist’s dangerous lead 

    Facebook Marketplace follows craigslist's dangerous lead

    In a previous blog post we stated “Craigslist has nothing to teach Facebook” in terms of content moderation. We defended Facebook stating they have a much better content moderation system in place than craigslist. However, it seems we may have been a bit mistaken in that defense because it seems Facebook Marketplace is following craigslist’s bad example anyway. In a report by Sky News in the UK, their investigation found illegal prescription drugs were allegedly being sold on Facebook Marketplace with impunity.

    Rather than having personal moderation on Facebook Marketplace, Facebook seems to be relying on the craigslist model of ‘community policing.’ The problem with having the community moderate Marketplace is they tend not to report illegal activity. The people who are going to Marketplace for illegal goods are not going to report anything and the people who are going to Marketplace for legitimate uses aren’t actively searching for illegal content.

    That’s also not taking into account Facebook seems to be lax in enforcing their own rules. According to the Sky News report, Facebook initially said the profiles of alleged Marketplace drug dealers didn’t violate their terms of service. The offending profiled weren’t removed until Sky News contacted Facebook personally. Most Facebook users aren’t an international news outlet who can just contact Facebook by phone. So, much like craigslist, it seems Marketplace’s community policing is a lot of lip service.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on July 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook Marketplace   

    Facebook to place ads in its ads 

    Facebook to place ads in its ads

    It should go without saying that Facebook loves advertising. It’s no secret the social network tries to cram as much advertising into its products as possible. Sometimes it can be as subtle as a post in your news feed, and others can be as blatant as the ads in the sidebar of the site. They’ve even started recently placing ads within their stand alone messenger. However, Facebook is still not content with its advertisement saturation. They still want to place even more ads within their platform, so they’ve decided to place ads within other ads.

    Facebook has now rolled out a pilot program where they’re testing ads within Facebook Marketplace, the service where users already post ads for items they want to sell. So far, these new sponsored ads are only on the mobile version of Marketplace and advertisers are not being charged during the test program period.

    While advertising pays for much of the internet and allows us to have free services like Facebook, how much advertising is too much? Some say we’ve already reached a tipping point with the proliferation of ad-blockers and the like. If platforms become too reliant on advertising, could we see a return to the days of pop-up and pop-under ads, or will services that were once free start going behind a paywall? It’s up to the platform themselves to balance the fine line between profit and user experience. If you lean too heavily on profit it could drive users away, however, paywalls are notorious for driving users away as many people using the internet feel they shouldn’t have to pay for many of the platforms they use.

    Then again, it is Facebook. It’s not like they’re about to lose a ton of users to Google Plus.

     
  • Geebo 9:07 am on June 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook Marketplace,   

    Florida Facebook Marketplace shooting shows need for safety vigilance 

    Florida Facebook Marketplace shooting shows need for safety vigilance

    A very sad and unfortunate incident recently took place in Jacksonville, Florida, that involved Facebook Marketplace. A father of two was shot and killed in front of his children when a man giving away a dog on Facebook Marketplace became suddenly violent in the man’s home. The gunman was giving away a dog that he had allegedly found in the back of his truck. The father wanted the dog for his children and asked the man if he could pick the dog up but the man insisted that he drop off the dog at the father’s home.

    When the man showed up at the house the father and his fiancée invited the man in for a drink to thank him for the dog. The man is said to have overstayed his welcome and becomes drunk and belligerent before getting into an argument with the father and shooting him dead. Thankfully the children and the father’s fiancée were physically unharmed.

    Normally, when a murder is committed through the use of a classifieds site, mainly the notorious craigslist, it’s usually a robbery that goes bad. However, it’s not unheard of for freak occurrences like this to arise. Having someone come to your home is never a good idea no matter how trustworthy you think the person may be. As soon as they try to talk you into meeting you at your own home you should immediately say that you’re no longer interested in the item. It’s recommended that you always ask someone who is about to complete an online exchange with you to meet you at a police station as most police stations in the country now welcome these transactions to take place within the safety of their walls. If something does not feel right when making any kind of classifieds transaction, listen to your gut and walk away.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on May 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook Marketplace, Kodi Box, ,   

    Facebook Marketplace has banned Kodi Boxes. What are they, and why are they banned? 

    Facebook Marketplace has banned Kodi Boxes. What are they, and why are they banned?

    Facebook Marketplace recently joined other places like Amazon and Ebay by banning the sale of ‘fully loaded’ Kodi Boxes by claiming that they promote piracy. So you may be asking what is a Kodi Box and what’s so bad about it? Before we get there we need to explain exactly what Kodi is.

    Kodi is software that you can install on just about any device that not only organizes all your media, but allows you to play your downloaded content on your HD TV. Some devices are sold that have Kodi pre-installed on them. They are very similar to the Amazon Fire Stick or the Google Chromecast. However, Kodi is open source, meaning anyone can either alter the code or make add-ons that allow Kodi devices to stream pirated content. This can include the streaming of first run movies that are still in the theater or pay-per-view sporting events.

    The Kodi Boxes that Facebook Marketplace is banning are the ones listed as ‘fully loaded’. This is thinly-veiled code meaning the boxes can be used for pirated content.

    For those of us who are old enough to remember the advent of cable television, this is akin to the pirate cable boxes from back in the day that would illegally unscramble all the pay channels.

    In conclusion, it’s not illegal to own or use a Kodi Box, unless it runs the apps that allow you to pirate paid content for free.

     
  • Geebo 9:05 am on April 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook Marketplace   

    Facebook locks out Marketplace users in bid to fight fake news 

    Facebook locks out Marketplace users in bid to fight fake news

    Recently this blog posed the question “Is Facebook too big for its own good?” Another issue has arisen that requires that question to be asked again, as it seems the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. Users of Facebook’s classifieds section called Marketplace have been complaining about being locked out of their Facebook accounts after placing an ad.

    The problem stems from Facebook’s continuous promise to combat fake news among its pages. Users claim after posting an ad for the first time on Marketplace that they’ve been locked out of their accounts while the ad is being reviewed. However, it’s not the content of the ad that’s causing any red flags, but the ads often include pictures which for some reason is triggering Facebook’s review process for fake content. This is similar to the temporary ban some Facebook users have received for posting inappropriate content.

    Facebook has claimed the glitch in the Facebook Matrix has been corrected and only affected a small number of its users. No answer was given as to what caused the problem in the first place. While Facebook is far from infallible one would think they would test these features more thoroughly before implementing them site-wide. As has been stated before, when Facebook tries to be all things to all people it seems they lose a little bit more quality each time a new feature is implemented.

     
  • Geebo 12:05 pm on December 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Facebook Marketplace,   

    Everything old is new again: Facebook Marketplace used for robberies 

    Everything old is new again: Facebook Marketplace used for robberies

    Back in October, we posted on this blog about how Facebook’s new Marketplace feature was not only rife for abuse, but that the abuses were already taking place. These were some of the same abuses that have plagued craigslist for years.

    Now, industry watchdog The AIM Group, is reporting that Facebook Marketplace is now suffering from an even bigger problem that is also reminiscent of craigslist, robbery. At least two armed robberies have occurred and in one incident a victim was stabbed while being robbed. If history is any indicator, it won’t be too long before the media is calling someone the ‘Facebook Marketplace Killer’. By AIM Group’s own estimate there have been 105 murders related to craigslist as of October, 2016. With as many users as Facebook has, they could potentially dwarf that unfortunate number.

    The problem with Facebook Marketplace is the same that craigslist has always had and that’s the lack of moderation. Facebook is making the same mistake as craigslist by relying on the community to police the ads rather than having in-house moderation. While human curation isn’t the be all and end all to keeping its users safe it can go so much farther than relying on an untrained community. Unfortunately, Facebook has a history of mishandling any kind of human editing staff. With its brand and userbase, Facebook has the potential to be even a bigger criminal hive than craigslist ever was.

     
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