There has been coverage in the press recently about the biggest investigation in Britain into fake goods on social media which identified tens of thousands of listings for counterfeit products on Facebook, including potentially dangerous items.
SnapDragon works with Facebook on behalf of the brands we are defending online and while we empathise entirely with the many frustrations of those outlined in the investigation, we do find that directly reported links are removed efficiently, often within a few hours and would thus encourage brand owners to be tenacious and persistent – just like us!
However it is still worth highlighting so that consumers are aware that according to investigators from Britain’s National Trading Standards, the social media giant has been accused of not doing enough to remove promotions and posts on the sale of counterfeit items such as designer clothes and electrical goods.
The investigation found Facebook did not remove the posts even after receiving an official warning and investigators have urged the US firm to do more to stem the flow of counterfeit goods available for purchase.
The European Commission has also previously warned social media companies they could face hefty fines if they do not step up their efforts to tackle the sale of fake items online.
While Facebook has cracked down on advertisements for fake goods, its Marketplace allows users to list and trade items without charge and the platform has proved to be a fertile ground for scammers.
“They do make money from this and are not doing enough to take down these products,” Mike Andrews, from the National Trading Standards eCrime team, was quoted as saying by The Sunday Times.
“We have tried and tried, but at the moment they often do not properly respond to the requests to take down the products. It’s unsatisfactory.”
HMRC, police forces and trading standards are all involved in Operation Jasper, the ongoing investigation into the sale of fake goods online, which has so far led to over 12,000 Facebook listings being taken down since 2015.
Earlier this year, a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development showed imports of fake items in Britain were worth a combined £9.4bn, meaning counterfeit goods amount to approximately 4% of the UK’s total imports.
According to the Intellectual Property Office, Facebook is now “a favourite for counterfeit sellers”, having surpassed the likes of Amazon and eBay to claim the unwanted accolade, after both online marketplaces have cracked down on the sale of fake goods on their websites.
Get in touch with our team today to find out how we help stop counterfeits of your brand being sold on e-commerce platforms like Facebook.
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