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SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook on Friday said it will stop allowing the sale of land in Amazon rainforest conservation areas at marketplaces on the social network or its Instagram and WhatsApp services.

The announcement came as Facebook defends itself against accusations that it has long put profit over societal good, and caused some online to question why it had allowed sales of precious rainforest land in the first place.

"We are updating our commerce policies to explicitly prohibit the buying or selling of land of any type in ecological conservation areas on our commerce products across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp," the online social network said in a post.

"Protected areas are crucial for conserving habitats and ecosystems and are critical to tackling the global nature crisis."

Facebook focused the announcement on the Amazon rainforest, saying it planned to ramp up the effort.

Facebook said it will review listings at its online Marketplace against an authoritative database of protected areas to identify and block listings for sales of land there.

"Wait, this is something that was happening?" read a tweeted reply to Facebook sharing the announcement at its verified Twitter account.

The sale of land in conservation areas happens on other platforms and offline, but Facebook is working to stop it from happening in its family of apps, the company said.

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