Industry Updates

Facebook Implements New Anticounterfeiting Policies

Published: February 25, 2020

Note: This is part of our ongoing series to update brand owners on e-commerce platforms’ efforts to curb counterfeiting and represents INTA’s collaborative initiatives to fight the proliferation of counterfeit goods online and elsewhere.

In late 2019, Facebook updated its anticounterfeiting policies and launched a dedicated page on its website detailing its approach to intellectual property (IP) protection and anti-counterfeiting efforts. The page outlines initiatives ranging from notice-and-takedown to proactive measures, and education and transparency efforts.

Anticounterfeiting measures on Facebook and Instagram, an image and video sharing social media platform owned by Facebook, feature an IP notice-and-takedown program that provides publicly accessible channels for rights holders to report content they believe infringes their rights (including counterfeits). Rights holders can file infringement reports on Profiles, Pages, Groups, ads, or Marketplace listings. The following forms can be used to report counterfeits on Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook’s global Intellectual Property Operations team processes and takes action in response to complete and valid reports year-round on a 24/7 basis. Content is typically removed within a day after Facebook receives a rights holder’s report. For more information on becoming a rights holder on Facebook or Instagram check out the rights holder’s tool.

Other online platforms also have published anticounterfeiting policies. For example, also on social media, Twitter’s policy prohibits the sale or promotion of the sale of counterfeit goods, and explains how to report counterfeit goods. Among online retail platforms, Amazon’s counterfeiting policy also strictly prohibits the sale of counterfeits and states that sellers “must provide records about the authenticity” of products if Amazon requests that documentation.

According to Facebook’s website, its new initiatives include:

Enhanced report processing: Facebook allows rights holders to report pieces of content individually or in bulk, as well as entire Profiles, Pages, or Groups. Even when a rights holder reports only one item to Facebook as counterfeit, Facebook may take steps to review an entire Page, account, or ad account if there is evidence of widespread infringement.

Repeat infringer policy: In addition to taking down reported content or users, Facebook disables the accounts of repeat infringers where appropriate. Facebook also takes other actions to help stop someone from becoming a repeat infringer, such as temporary feature limits or removing access to certain product features.
Recidivism: Facebook has a variety of measures in place aimed at detecting new accounts created by previously disabled users—including those disabled for counterfeiting—and preventing them from continuing to misuse the services.

Specialized reporting tools: Facebook has developed specialized tools to help rights holders report IP infringements at scale. Its streamlined reporting tool—the Commerce & Ads IP Tool—empowers brands to easily search for and report infringing Marketplace or Group sale posts on Facebook and ads across Facebook and Instagram. The tool provides unique functionalities, such as the ability to search Marketplace globally in a single search, and to search across all currently active ads by any keyword.

Proactive anticounterfeiting measures: Facebook is using technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence to help block or reduce the distribution of potentially counterfeit content on both Facebook and Instagram.

Transparency: Facebook regularly releases a transparency report that includes updated information on its IP practices, the volume and types of IP reports it receives, and how much content those reports affect.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of this article, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

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