Monday, 21 January, 2019

Facebook is banning ads promoting questionable financial products (including cryptocurrencies)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.   Justin Sullivan  Getty Images Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Justin Sullivan Getty Images
Nellie Chapman | 31 January, 2018, 04:12

Facebook on Tuesday said it was banning ads that promote cryptocurrencies because of concerns about scams and deceptive practices.

Bitcoin's price slumped on Tuesday night as Facebook announced it would ban adverts promoting cryptocurrencies and U.S. authorities launched a probe into a large online exchange. Till then, Facebook warned it may not catch every ad that should be removed under this new policy.

Facebook's new policy is "intentionally broad" which should buy the company time to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising products. Officials warned investors earlier this month that protections around cryptoassets are limited.

Facebook is willing to take a hit to its wallet to make sure its users don't.

That means no advertiser - even those that operate legal, legitimate businesses - will be able to promote things like bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings - ICOs for short - or binary options, according to a Facebook blog post. It also said that it is working to improve its detection of "deceptive and misleading advertising practices".

In a new ad policy that rolled out today, Facebook, the Internet's largest social network, has banned all ads for cryptocurrencies and ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings).

Also of note is the fact that the ban isn't limited to the core Facebook product. It urges people to report any ads that slip through the cracks, although it doesn't specify how much of a presence cryptocurrency had on the advertising network before this change. Of note, the social media firm said past year that it would crack down on ads which discriminate against some users, but months after that promise was made in response to a ProPublica investigation, the media outlet was still able to buy discriminatory ads through the company's platform.