Meta ‘fails to act over dangerous goods’ on Facebook Marketplace, charity says

Electrical Safety First has claimed it received no response from the tech giant over substandard electrical items for sale on the platform.

17 June 2022

Facebook’s parent company Meta stands accused of failing to act on warnings over dangerous and non-compliant electrical goods on Facebook Marketplace.

Charity Electrical Safety First said it sent a report to Meta at the end of May, alerting the tech giant to nearly 60 listings of electrical goods which are non-compliant with basic product standards.

But the charity claims that despite sending several follow-up emails, it received no response and the listings were not removed.

Meta’s UK team told the PA news agency it did not see the report until late on Thursday afternoon, but that it is now in touch with Electrical Safety First to further investigate its findings.

In its original report, the charity said the products identified included beauty appliances with EU plugs being sold with unsafe adaptors, as well as counterfeit phone chargers and hoverboards with illegal “clover-shaped” plugs which it said risk electric shock.

Electrical Safety First said it had escalated the issue to the Office for Product Safety and Standards.

“It is hugely disappointing that Meta has failed to respond to the findings of the charity,” its chief executive, Lesley Rudd, said.

“The inaction shown by Meta clearly demonstrates that self-regulation is not a reliable solution to the problem and we must now bring forward urgent changes to the law to ensure online marketplaces are responsible for the products sold via their site. Without this, purchasers remain at risk.”

In a statement to PA, a Meta company spokesman said: “We have requested links to potentially violating posts so we can investigate further.”

Electrical Safety First said that as part of a wider investigation into online marketplaces, it also flagged dangerous goods to eBay that were for sale on its platform, which the safety group said were swiftly removed by the company.

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