Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

All the Illegal Things You Can (but Shouldn't!) Buy on Facebook

Facebook launched 'Marketplace' last week, and it didn't take long before the social media giant's answer to Craigslist devolved into an anarchic online bazaar hawking the very items banned by the company's commerce policy. Guns, drugs ... Harambe? Marketplace had it all, and Facebook has spent the last few days trying to convince everyone that it was all due to a "technical issue."

So what illegal items turned up in Marketplace before Facebook fixed the glitch? And what things should you avoid buying? Here's a quick look:

Guns

Mic.com found a .22 Magnum for sale for $325 and a semiautomatic shotgun for $1. (A steal at twice the price!) Oh yeah and a Hungarian AK-47. Never mind that Facebook's Commerce Policy prohibits the sale of "Weapons, ammunition or explosives." And even if gun sales were permitted on Facebook, that AK is illegal in quite a few states. What else is illegal under the commerce policy? Let's review:

Illegal, prescription or recreational drugs;
Tobacco items and related paraphernalia;
Unsafe supplements;
Weapons, ammunition or explosives;
Animals;
Adult items or services;
Alcohol;
Adult health items;
Real money gambling services;
Goods, items or posts that we determine may be or are fraudulent, misleading, deceptive or offensive;
Items or products with overtly sexualized positioning;
Non-physical items are prohibited on Facebook Marketplace, including but not limited to services, subscriptions, digital products, or rentals.

Drugs

"Illegal, prescription or recreational" seems to cover just about every drug you can imagine. Still, multiple news outlets found listings for marijuana (codename: Reggie) and other illicit substances. And again, just because you can buy weed on Facebook does not mean that you should buy weed on Facebook. Chances are it's illegal where you live, and who knows whether this rando online has the same dank kush that your regular dealer has?

People

No, you shouldn't need Facebook or us to tell you that you can't buy or sell a person. So just ignore those Marketplace ads for humans, sexual services, and *sigh* babies. Don't buy that baby on Facebook.

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