Twitter is joining Google and Facebook in planning to announce a blanket ban of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), token sales and cryptocurrencies.
The social network is seemingly thinking of going further than the other two and may ban advertising of crypto wallets as well as advertising of crypto exchanges. According to a report:
“Sky News understands that the new advertising policy will be implemented in two weeks and currently stands to prohibit advertisements for initial coin offerings (ICOs), token sales, and cryptocurrency wallets globally.
Twitter may also ban all ads for cryptocurrency exchanges, with some limited exceptions, when the policy is launched.”
This is generally in line with broad policies on prohibiting stocks advertising. While derivatives advertisings, such as CFDs, are illegal in some jurisdictions.
But we’d think the policy wouldn’t affect crypto products like wallets, such as say Coinbase’s Toshi app, although we haven’t really seen that advertised.
The policy is probably primarily aimed at ICOs, or some “new bitcoin” cryptocurrency, yet it remains unclear why all three social networks are having a blanket ban rather than a principled based policy.
In combination, Google, Facebook and Twitter account for some 80% of advertising budgets, giving them monopoly like powers over the ads market.
Making them centralized gatekeepers which could act as extension of state policy. Google and Facebook, for example, were pressured by FBI to blanket ban crypto ads specifically.
Google seemingly held off for some time due to their general policy to not allow scammy ads, but then apparently caved in.
The three social networks have chosen a fairly soft target with their policy generally having support, although it would very much depend on how far they go.
But this may soon raise questions regarding their power, and their relationship with the state in forming new policies.
Because although today it may be crypto ads, tomorrow it may well be entire industries or political leanings as an infrastructure to facilitate mass censorship, either overt or covert, may be put in place.