Facebook is banning Bitcoin in an effort to crack down on misleading adverts
Facebook is cracking down on deceptive marketers, and Bitcoin is in the firing line. As part of Facebook’s attempt to remove misleading or deceptive promotional practices from its social network, adverts promoting cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or initial coin offerings (ICOs) are getting the chop.
In a post on the company’s blog, Facebook’s product management director Rob Leathern explained the decision boiled down to wanting to protect its users from “financial services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”
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“We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception,” he continued. “That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs, and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith.
“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.”
Facebook details a handful of examples of what adverts will not be accepted on the platform and urges users to report ads that appear on their feed that otherwise shouldn’t.
The examples shown seem to outline get-rich-quick style ads for cryptocurrencies and binary options. “Click here to learn more about our no-risk cryptocurrency that enables instant payments to anyone in the world”, reads one example, with another stating users should “use your retirement funds to buy Bitcoin!”.
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Personally, I’ve not seen any ads on Facebook or Instagram for cryptocurrency services – and Facebook also hasn’t detailed instances where such ads have appeared. It could well be a move from the social network giant to nip it in the bud before such adverts begin to appear in droves.
Facebook’s ad network already allows adverts on financial topics, but it places heavy restrictions upon them. To promote any real-money gambling or gaming service, you need “written permission” from Facebook before posting such ads online. There’s also a blanket ban on promoting “misleading or deceptive” student loan ads and all financial-based advertising has to be targeted at people over 18.
In time, Facebook plans to reevaluate its stance on cryptocurrency advertising once it’ better understands how to tackle the volatile industry. “We will revisit this policy and how we enforce it as our signals improve,” Leathern explains.
“This policy is part of an ongoing effort to improve the integrity and security of our ads, and to make it harder for scammers to profit from a presence on Facebook.”