Facebook Bans Cryptocurrency, ICO Ads Because Of ‘Deceptive Promotional Practices’

Facebook has updated its advertising policy, announcing in a blog post Tuesday, Jan. 30 that it prohibits ads that use “misleading or deceptive promotional practices,” which, according to the social media platform, includes ads of cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

The move may come as a surprise for some crypto followers, after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg expressed a desire to study cryptocurrency deeply in 2018.

His comment that cryptocurrencies “take power from centralized systems and put it back into people's hands” appeared to be a less-than-negative opinion on their potential and how the company could “best to use them in [its] services."

Scammers beware

The announcement claims that 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 that, the blog post continues, Facebook is 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.

Future hope, censor-free

While the ban is ‘intentionally broad’ to start with, the blog post does offer a glimmer of hope for ICOs and cryptocurrencies interested in advertising on Facebook’s many platforms. The post indicates that the company intends to “revisit this policy and how [they] enforce it as [their] signals improve.”

Other social media giants like Twitter have also faced their share of Bitcoin and Blockchain scams. A number of retweet trolls have been recently seeking fame through fake offers of Bitcoin giveaways.

However, while Facebook and others are seeking to produce a safer environment free of potential scams, others in the social media world are seeking to remove just this type of censorship from platforms through Blockchain technology.

Some industry insiders see the move as preemptive and overly stringent.

For example, Dejun Qian, Founder of FUSION, said, “This policy will definitely protect people from the scams of predatory projects. However announcing an “intentionally broad” policy is always the easiest way and not necessarily the best route for technology development. I don’t believe that banning e-commerce ads just because people face the risk of buying counterfeited products is a good idea.”