Facebook Has Banned Bitcoin Ads

Facebook will be banning ads of which promote bitcoin in addition to also additional cryptocurrencies in an effort to protect its users through “financial products in addition to also services frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”

The platform has recently been criticized for hosting dubious cryptocurrency-related ads, some of which appeared to promote get-rich-quick schemes in addition to also potential scams. Earlier This specific month, BuzzFeed News highlighted how some of these Facebook ads peddled bitcoin-related disinformation in addition to also fake news touting their services in addition to also initial coin offerings (ICOs).

“We want people to continue to discover in addition to also learn about completely new products in addition to also services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception,” Robert Leathern, a Facebook product management director, said in a company blog post. “of which said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs in addition to also cryptocurrencies of which are not currently operating in Great faith.”

Among the ads targeted, those through “crypto-genius” James Altucher, a digital currency evangelist who’s been featured on media outlets like CNBC. Altucher has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Gavin Sheridan, CEO of legal startup Vizlegal in addition to also a frequent critic of Facebook’s ad policies, welcomed the move — having a few caveats. “The adage to trust what people do — not what they say — holds true as ever,” he told BuzzFeed News. “In effect, Facebook already bans many of these sorts of deceptive ads — often placed by advertisers of which redirect to websites made to look like news providers such as CNN, of which in turn lead to websites of which seek to obtain credit card details — often in situations where users have no idea what they are buying. Arguably of which was a poor ad review process of which let these ads through inside first place.”

The move to police ICO ads comes as Facebook works to fix its platform, which has routinely been exploited by bad actors, through scam artists to fake news purveyors to foreign governments seeking to upend US politics. inside past few weeks, Facebook announced significant improvements to its news feed intended to limit the reach of untrustworthy news sources while boosting local news outlets in addition to also posts through friends in addition to also family.

of which also comes just weeks after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg publicly endorsed cryptocurrency as something of which can “take power through centralized systems in addition to also put of which back into people’s hands.”

Just how well Facebook will enforce the policy of which just announced will be a curious question. Last year, for example, ProPublica reported of which Facebook allowed advertisers to exclude users by race. Last February, following of which report Facebook vowed to crack down on discriminatory ads, however when ProPublica followed up in November, they were still able to purchase advertising of which wouldn’t be shown to African Americans, people who need wheelchair ramps, in addition to also even Jews, among others.

“We may not catch every ad of which should be removed under This specific completely new policy,” read the Facebook announcement.

While the completely new policy will likely prevent Facebook users through being ripped off in cryptocurrency scams, of which might also raise eyebrows given of which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently said cryptocurrency can “take power through centralized systems in addition to also put of which back into people’s hands.”

of which’s not clear whether the policy has already been enforced, however some of the types of advertisements Facebook intends to target are still on the platform. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed of which James Altucher’s ads will no longer be allowed, however an unverified page using Altucher’s name, for example, will be still promoting advertisements for “completely new must-own cryptocurrencies could turn as little as $10 into a fortune.” The ads lead to a website of which looks to sell Altucher’s “Masterclass On Cryptocurrencies.”

“If you follow my script below, you could turn $100 into a retirement fortune inside next 12 months… while minimizing your risk,” says the banner at the top.

Ryan Mac will be a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News in addition to also will be based in San Francisco. He reports on the intersection of money, technology in addition to also power.

Contact Ryan Mac at ryan.mac@buzzfeed.com.

Jane Lytvynenko will be a reporter for BuzzFeed News in addition to also will be based in Toronto, Canada. PGP fingerprint: A088 89E6 2500 AD3C 8081 BAFB 23BA 21F3 81E0 101C.

Contact Jane Lytvynenko at jane.lytvynenko@buzzfeed.com.

Alex Kantrowitz will be a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News in addition to also will be based in San Francisco. He reports on social in addition to also communications.

Contact Alex Kantrowitz at alex.kantrowitz@buzzfeed.com.

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