Sunday 21 February 2021

Facebook rules on not selling animals are being ignored

Facebook knows that they need to do more to stop the sale of animals on their website. This is a perpetually difficult topic for Facebook administrators it seems to me. They have similar problems in trying to stop pictures of animal abuse.

FB policy on selling animals. It is banned but abused.
FB policy on selling animals. It is banned but abused. Screenshot. It took me a while to find this FB page.


The first point I want to make is that it is very difficult to find Facebook's policy on listing animal sales on their website. If you search for the policy on Facebook you can't find it. If you search for their rules or policy using Google search you are more likely to find it. That tells a tale in my opinion.

Several people have asked for information about the rules but the responses are often very thin and weak and unhelpful. I eventually found an answer and I have provided both the rules and a Google search result in screenshots to tell you the kind of problem that Facebook faces.

Yes, Google search throws up many Facebook pages on which they sell animals. In fact is much easier to find Facebook pages where they sell animals than it is to find Facebook's policy on not selling animals! Something is wrong.

Animals for sale of Facebook listed by Google search
Animals for sale of Facebook listed by Google search. Screenshot.

For the sake of clarity, it is irresponsible to sell animals on Facebook and it is irresponsible to buy animals on Facebook. I know it is tempting as it is highly convenient and there are some beautiful animals for sale but you are taking a big risk financially and in terms of the quality animal you are buying. Also the animals themselves at risk of abuse and exploitation. You don't know who is selling them and how they were bred.

You don't know the standard of their welfare. Are the kittens diseased? Are they sick? Do they have any sort of health issue which may leave the buyer with heavy financial expenditure in terms of veterinary bills and emotional distress because once they adopt a kitten they almost immediately become attached to that animal. To see the animal in distress because of illness is distressing to the new owner.

This is an example of the risk you take if you buy online without ticking the normal boxes and applying due diligence to the process. I don't believe you can buy a kitten or cat on impulse at any time. It has to be carried out with great care because this is a lifetime experience that the person is buying into.

The trouble is that people do not consider it a lifetime experience. Some people do but the ones who buy on Facebook often don't. And also in buying on Facebook you are encouraging people to sell on Facebook. You are completing the circle.

I know Facebook don't want this to happen and their rules are clear once you find them but they struggle with enforcing the rules for the simple reason that there are so many users and postings on their website. The numbers are too big to control.

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