Facebook Bans Sleazy ICO and Cryptocurrency Ads

Facebook Bans Sleazy ICO and Cryptocurrency Ads

Weeks ago, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg promised he’d spend the new year studying cryptocurrencies. Apparently, he’s spent the interim studying scammy crypto ads on Facebook, too, as the popular social media platform is banning “deceptive promotional practices” related to cryptocurrencies henceforth. 

Also read: CFTC Subpoenas Bitfinex and Tether Over USD-Pegged Token

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Ban “Intentionally Broad” to Start

Facebook is officially moving against the wave of unrealistic, “moonshot” promising cryptocurrency-based promotions that have hit the social media platform in recent weeks, announcing a new policy that addressed the problem on Tuesday, January 30th.

While other outlets like CNBC initially announced the policy revision as a blanket ban on all ads related to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general, the actual Facebook announcement clearly notes the restrictions relates to projects that are not “operating in good faith.”

Facebook
The company’s provided samples.

However, the company did note the ban would be “intentionally broad” to start while they fine-tuned the approval process:

“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 [Initial Coin Offerings] and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith.

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. We will revisit this policy and how we enforce it as our signals improve.”

Surreptitious Monero Mining Also Recently a Problem

Spammy, scammy cryptocurrency ads aren’t the only problem from the cryptoverse that Zuckerberg’s crew has been contending with as of late.

That’s because back in December 2017, Japanese cybersecurity company TrendMicro published a report detailing how a malicious bot dubbed “Digimine” was using an exploit to take over users’ Facebook Messenger accounts through which miner management software was being remotely installed.

Attackers were using the exploit to remotely mine Monero (XMR) from victims’ computers. The Silicon Valley heavyweights responded by saying they “maintain a number of automated systems to help stop harmful links and files from appearing on Facebook and in Messenger.”

Even still, it surely won’t be the last time the cryptocurrency ecosystem and Facebook generate friction against one another.

What’s your take? Do you think this was a smart move by Zuckerberg’s powerhouse platform, or does it not really concern you either way? Sound off in the comments below.


Images via Facebook, QZ

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