Facebook bans ads from cryptocurrencies
ICO advertising is also off-limits for the social network.
Many countries, including Australia, have strict guidelines on how financial products and services are advertised and provided, but the Internet remains the "Wild West". The global nature and distributed authority of the Internet makes it challenging to create and enforce advertising standards.
Now Facebook is taking things into its own hands, placing a ban on advertising financial products that are often "associated with misleading and deceptive promotional practices".
The new policy isn't limited to Facebook, with Instagram, Audience Network and other Facebook services also included.
What's important to note is that Facebook isn't saying cryptocurrencies are fraudulent. What it made very clear in a blog post announcing the change is that many businesses advertising products and services aren't trustworthy.
"There are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith," the post from Facebook's product management director Rob Leathern read in part. "We will revisit this policy and how we enforce it as our signals improve."
Following yesterday's news that Ethereum-based Prodeum was nothing more than a scam designed to dupe unsuspecting people caught up in the cryptocurrency hype, the move to block advertising is potentially a good idea for Facebook, which continues to face scrutiny and criticism over what sorts of ads and content its delivers.
Facebook's advertising policies have a long list of products that are not permitted to be advertised. The relevant section if you want all the details is Item 29 under Section 4.
Although Facebook is presenting these changes in an altruistic way, telling us that they're about making it harder for crooks to sell their "services" online, it's likely the company is also ensuring it doesn't fall foul of governments around the world where advertising standards and laws are much tighter when it comes to financial services and products.