Following persistent complaints about spammy and fraudulent cryptocurrency ads, Facebook has issued an outright ban. As of a new ruling issued on January 30, “ads must not promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings, or cryptocurrency”. The move is sure to be welcomed by Facebook users and bitcoin enthusiasts alike, who recognize that these adverts do little to promote the benefits of cryptocurrency.
Of the myriad places on the web where a person can learn about cryptocurrencies, Facebook is possibly the worst. Its users tend to be less sophisticated than those who frequent other social networks, and are easy prey for scammers, charlatans, and snake oil salesmen. Characters such as the impressively coiffured James Altucher have become the hated face of Facebook crypto, with their get rich quick schemes promoting the seedier side of bitcoin.
In a post published on Tuesday, Facebook Product Management Director Rob Leathern wrote: “We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception. That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith.”
He added: “This policy is intentionally broad while we work to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices, and enforcement will begin to ramp up across our platforms including Facebook, Audience Network and Instagram”.
And Nothing of Value Was Lost
The moratorium on crypto ads can only benefit the cryptocurrency community. Scams such as Bitconnect and Arisebank are allowed to ferment on platforms such as Facebook, out of the reach of sharp-tongued Twitter traders who would otherwise call them out. Examples of ads that Facebook cites as being in contravention of its new policy include “New ICO! Buy tokens at a 15% discount NOW!”
Facebook’s advertising policy is notoriously fussy. The list of health foods and supplements it won’t list, for example, is extensive, and it also seems to have a problem with male torsos being displayed. ICOs and cryptocurrency projects – even those that are above board – can now be added to that list. There’s a school of thought that holds that ICOs which have merit shouldn’t require paid advertising in the first place, especially not display ads. If a product is genuinely innovative and worthy of investment, there are plenty of ways to create a buzz and form an active community without resorting to Facebook.
Do you think Facebook banning crypto ads is a good thing? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Facebook.
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