Tuesday, June 11, 2019

No Buying and Selling Alcohol on Facebook, Says Facebook for Umpteenth Time

Yesterday, all or most of the myriad whiskey pages on Facebook received a letter stating, in part, "While we allow people to talk about alcohol products we will not allow people to sell or purchase these regulated products on our site. This has always been true in places like Marketplace and Commerce posts in groups, but we will now extend this to organic content, and we will be updating our Community Standards accordingly. We are beginning to enforce this policy change on groups and pages we discover to be set up for this specific purpose."

This set off the usual firestorm of what passes for conversation on these pages, many of which sprinkle the commerce with misogynistic and scatalogoical commentary. None of this is new. Except in Kentucky and a few other places, the secondary market for alcohol is illegal, and in those few places where it is legal it is restricted.

The state beverage alcohol agencies that are supposed to enforce these laws rarely do, but they will lean on companies such as Facebook, eBay and Craig's List to get them to clamp down on the peer-to-peer commerce that takes place on their platforms.

It's never easy. This iteration won't be any different from the many previous efforts. Participants in the secondary market are a determined and persistent lot. Many are in denial about the criminal nature of their hobby, but they might be better off if they thought more like criminals. Successful criminals don't try to justify what they do, they just focus on not getting caught.


Unknown said...

By all or most do you actually mean only ONE group? Because that's the truth.

Anonymous said...

Do you know if it is legal to trade bottles?

Chuck Cowdery said...

Legally, trading is exactly the same as buying and selling. It is just as illegal.

Anonymous said...

But what if you mutually gift the bottles? Isn't a person allowed to gift a bottle? Especially if the bottle was sold in a gift box... Naturally, I wouldn't gift a bottle to a person I don't trust and likewise I wouldn't drink something from someone I don't trust.

Trying to stay legal.

Hey, wasn't there a company during Prohibition that sold grape juice powder with a warning on the label to the tune of "DO NOT reconstitute this with x amount of water, DO NOT add x amount of yeast and DO NOT let it ferment x amount of time to produce wine" :)

Chuck Cowdery said...

I think you know the answer. You also know the difference between being legal and not getting caught.