Facebook Is Banning Advertisements for Bitcoin, ICOs

Social media giant Facebook has unveiled a new policy that bans advertisements involving bitcoin and initial coin offerings, among others.

Rob Leathern, the company's product management director, wrote in a Jan. 30 blog post that the new policy targets "ads that promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency."

Leathern went on to write:

"We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception. That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith."

Most users of the social media site have likely encountered ads for initial coin offerings, including those promising sky-high investment returns as well as bonuses for early participation. Other advertisements seen on the platform pitch investment advice around the crypto market.

Such ads, Leathern argued, are being targeted as part of an evolving policy against potentially fraudulent activities on the site.

Leathern added that the policy extends to other platforms under Facebook's purview, including the popular photo-sharing app Instagram. He suggested that the policy could be changed in the future, though he didn't offer any kind of timeline on that front.

"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," he wrote. "We will revisit this policy and how we enforce it as our signals improve."

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