Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Menlo Park, CA, United States (4E) – Facebook has banned all ads on its social media platform that promote cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (Ƀ), Ethereum (ETH), Zcash (ZEC) and Dash, as well as initial coin offerings (ICOs). There are an estimated 1,450 cryptocurrencies (collectively called “altcoins”) in circulation online.
In defending this move, Facebook said it wants to keep altcoin ads off the site that “promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”
It said ads that violate its new standards will be banned across company’s platforms, including Facebook itself, Instagram and Audience Network, which place ads on many third-party sites.
“We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception,” said Rob Leathern, Facebook product management director.
“That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith.”
Facebook updated its advertising policy, announcing in a blog post on Jan. 30 that it prohibits ads that use “misleading or deceptive promotional practices.” This broad definition includes ads of cryptocurrencies and ICOs.
Leathern explained the policy is intentionally broad since Facebook is trying to determine how to enforce its new policy against cryptocurrency ads.
The announcement claims there are “many companies” that use Facebook’s platform to advertise financial products, such as binary options, cryptocurrencies and ICOs, but do so “(not operating) in good faith”.
Because of this, Facebook said it’s going to make it “harder for scammers to profit” from a presence on the social platform by banning all such ads. The announcement also encourages the users to help police the community by reporting content that violates the new rule.
“Two of our core advertising principles outline our belief that ads should be safe, and that we build for people first,” said Facebook.
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