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03rd-Nov-2018       
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Regulate Facebook-based online shops
With the upsurge in the number of internet and smartphone users, Facebook has become an essential part of the lives of many in Bangladesh. The social media website has numerous features including one that allows users to sell their products to others. A recent report estimates that over 15,000 so-called Facebook stores are active in Bangladesh. While it's a good thing that Facebook provides a platform to entrepreneurs and people can conveniently buy products while on the go, there are concerns that these shops deliver low-quality products. Since people cannot check their products physically before making the payment, there's a risk that they may be deceived in some cases.
Since these "shops" are not registered with the government, the Consumer Rights Law doesn't cover them. The government has rules and regulations for formal e-commerce businesses, too. But they cover online shops founded by the owners  themselves.
In this case, however, since Facebook isn't involved in the business itself and acts merely as a platform between sellers and customers, it's impractical, and even impossible, to implicate the social media company.
The government should form a mechanism so that consumers can make complaints if they believe they are being deceived and defrauded. If these Facebook-based shops are not regulated properly, the very reputation of e-commerce will wane in the near future.
M Meraj Hossain
East West University

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