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Twitter may be the next to ban crypto ads

It’s expected the Twitter ban will resemble those of Facebook and Google

Twitter

The Twitter account on Twitter. How meta!

President Trump can tweet ad nauseam about the special counsel investigating him but if he dares to use that medium to advertise a cryptocurrency, well, then he might be in real trouble.

Twitter may be joining the bandwagon of companies banning crypto adds, according to a news story published Monday by Sky News:

“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.”

In recent weeks, the duopoly of Facebook and Google—controlling about three quarters of all online ad revenue in the United States—have decided that crypto ads were too sketchy even for their platforms and banned them. It’s expected the Twitter ban will resemble those of Facebook and Google. After all, Twitter hasn’t been all that innovative in some time and Anthony Noto isn’t around anymore so who knows who’s really watching the store now?

[Editor’s note: Modern Consensus still welcomes crypto ads and looks forward to picking up advertisers. Email ads@modernconsensus.com for more information. Hey, we’re shameless.]

Facebook got the ball rolling a month and a half ago when it added a section called “Prohibited Financial Products and Services,” which reads:

“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.”

They even provide an example of the sort of advertisements they no loner want to see on their site and, well, it looks a lot like most of the ads a crypto enthusiast would have seen on his Facebook feed all last year:

banned Facebook ads

Banned ads on Facebook look like previously the only ads on Facebook.

Google followed suit a week ago with a slightly more comprehensive policy. Like Facebook, they’re turning away ads for cryptocurrencies, ICOs, exchanges, and wallets, but they’re also throwing in rolling spot forex. And both are saying no to binary options (really? People are buying into that? Why not just burn a pile of money?).

However, Google’s policy goes into effect in June. That presumably means crypto ads will mysteriously go bad then but are totally legit right now.

Crypto ads aren’t even a rounding error on the top line of Facebook and Google’s parent company, Alphabet. Facebook’s revenue in 2017 was nearly $40.7 billion while Alphabet’s was $110.9 billion. Meanwhile, Twitter’s sales were a paltry $2.4 billion, which was a slight decline from its 2016 number.

Then again, these tech giants have bigger threats to their reputation than crypto ads ever could give them.

 

[Disclosure: The writer is married to a Facebook employee and holds shares in the company but has no knowledge of anything happening at the company.]

Lawrence Lewitinn, CFA is editor in chief of Modern Consensus. Disclosure: Lewitinn owns no cryptocurrencies in his portfolio.