Rob Leathern, Product Management Director at Facebook, has suddenly announced a new policy which prohibits the advertising of cryptocurrencies or token sales.
“Ads must not promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings, or cryptocurrency,” the new policy says.
It’s unclear whether this is a blanket ban or more of a vague and broad mission statement, with their other advertising policies containing statements like: “adverts must not contain shocking, sensational, disrespectful… content” and “adverts must not contain content that exploits controversial political or social issues for commercial purposes.”
Whatever either of those means, but Leathern says “there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith,” before further adding:
“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. We will revisit this policy and how we enforce it as our signals improve.”
Facebook has been under increased political pressure by mainly Democrats who after they lost the election accused it of all sorts, despite Hillary’s campaign extensively employing Facebook advertising too.
Recently Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook was studying cryptocurrencies and how to implement them in the platform, stating:
“There are important counter-trends to [centralization] –like encryption and cryptocurrency — that take power from centralized systems and put it back into people’s hands. But they come with the risk of being harder to control.
I’m interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services.”
If they do thus implement crypto while banning crypto advertising questions about monopoly practices might be raised further, on top of increasing scrutiny on the company some accuse of creating walled gardens while taking the lion’s share of advertising budgets.