Suspicion of villainy leads Facebook to ban cryptocoin ads

‘Many companies advertising ICOs and cryptocurrencies are not operating in good faith’

Facebook has banned ads for cryptocurrencies from its platform, on suspicion that plenty of them will be placed by scammers.

A new Clause 29 in the "Prohibited Content" section of its Advertising Policies says: "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 Social Network™ offered the following examples of ads it won't run:

  • "Start binary options trading now and receive a 10-risk free trades bonus!"
  • "Click here to learn more about our no-risk cryptocurrency that enables instant payments to anyone in the world."
  • "New ICO! Buy tokens at a 15% discount NOW!"
  • "Use your retirement funds to buy Bitcoin!"

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."

Hey, look who's rushing to weigh in on crypto-coins. Hello, United Nations and European Commission!

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"This policy is intentionally broad while we work to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices," Leathern added, noting that it won't block every ad and promising the policy will be revised "as our signals improve".

The signal of most interest in this tale may well be Facebook's assessment that the cryptocurrency community is a wretched hive of scum and villainy rife with scams from which its users must be protected. It has often been observed that Bitcoin seems most-loved by entities that enjoy having their financial dealings hidden. Facebook labelling promoters of similar instruments likely scams won't do anything to improve that perception. ®

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