Facebook bans ads from cryptocurrencies

Anthony Caruana 31 January 2018 NEWS

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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".

That means advertising for cryptocurrencies is now banned by the social media heavyweight, as are advertisements for initial coin offerings.

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.

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Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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