Facebook is revamping its ad policy with a broad ban on anything related to cryptocurrencies. Effective immediately, advertisers can no longer use Facebook to publicize an ICO fundraiser, announce the launch of any bitcoin-related product, or otherwise spread the word about anything built on the technology.
This new rule is explained in the latest update to Facebook’s advertising policy, “Prohibited Financial Products and Services.” It not only bans cryptocurrency and ICOs from the ad network, but also nixes advertisements hawking financial assets with less-than-stellar reputations, like binary options. The specific language on the ban is that “ads must not promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.” Cryptocurrencies don’t have an immediately positive association.
[Editor’s note: Modern Consensus still welcomes crypto ads and looks forward to picking up advertisers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Hey, we’re shameless.]
“This policy is intentionally broad while we work to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices,” writes Facebook product management director Rob Leathern. Those who violate the new rule will see their ads removed from Facebook’s entire network, which runs from mobile app to the web to Instagram, and even to third-party partners who pull advertising from Facebook’s Audience Network. A major advertising door has slammed shut on the cryptocurrency community.
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg issued himself a very public challenge for 2018 that basically boils down to “fix Facebook.” This mostly refers to how the platform should handle hate speech and geopolitical meddling, but overall, Facebook is working to solve a trust problem. Bitcoin perhaps has a dark-leaning reputation for its associations with decentralized drug marketplace Silk Road and being a hacker’s preferred payment method.
Facebook has big fish to fry in the wake of the last Presidential election, and decentralized payments aren’t one of them. When your company faces questions of how to restore its credibility, cryptocurrency is a space they can safely avoid.