The new policy will prohibit all private sales, trades, transfers and gifting of alcohol and tobacco products on Facebook and Instagram, the spokeswoman said. Any brands that post content related to the sale or transfer of these products will have to restrict that content to adults 18 or older.
The new policy will go into effect Wednesday and will also apply to any Facebook groups created to sell alcohol or tobacco products, the spokeswoman said. The social network is reaching out to group administrators to alert them of the changes.
The company is enforcing the new rules, the spokeswoman said, and may remove any groups that do not make necessary changes. While the company’s policies already prohibit the sale of tobacco and alcohol in Facebook Marketplace, the platform is extending its ban to “organic content” — regular posts from private users.
The company will “use a combination of technology, human review and reports from our community to find and remove any content that violates these policies,” the spokeswoman said.
Facebook and Instagram users, including those under 18, are still free to post other content related to tobacco and vape products.
She emphasized, however, that the company is considering possible changes to its influencer policy and is working with industry and regulatory bodies on potential revisions.
The Facebook spokeswoman said the new policy had been in the works and is not a response to this week’s congressional hearings.