Facebook reverses decision about crypto advertising

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Anyone working in the crypto sector knows all about Facebook’s decision to ban advertising about ICOs. In June last year, it relaxed this ruling a little, by allowing advertising providing companies applied for written approval first. This year, on 8th May, Facebook made a new announcement, which starts by saying: “While we will still require people to apply to run ads promoting cryptocurrency, starting today, we will narrow this policy to no longer require pre-approval for ads related to blockchain technology, industry news, education or events related to cryptocurrency.”

It also states, “And starting 5 June, we will update our Prohibited Financial Products and Services Policy to no longer allow ads promoting contracts for difference (CFDs), complex financial products that are often associated with predatory behavior. These products, due to their complexity, often mislead people. We’ll also continue to ban ads for initial coin offerings (ICOs) as well as ads for binary options.” So, ICOs are still ‘no-go’.

Facebook has always maintained that it introduced these rules to protect users. Advertisers who wish to promote a specific product, such as a particular cryptocurrency, a cryptocurrency exchange, or mining software and hardware will have to undergo a rigorous background screening which includes the following: “…licenses they have obtained, whether they are traded on a public stock exchange (or are a subsidiary of a public company) and other relevant public background on their business.”

Cointelegraph and others have reported on Facebook’s policy regarding crypto and referred to industry disquiet about it. For example, Dejun Qian, founder of FUSION said: “This policy will definitely protect people from the scams of predatory projects. However announcing an ‘intentionally broad’ policy is always the easiest way and not necessarily the best route for technology development. I don’t believe that banning e-commerce ads just because people face the risk of buying counterfeited products is a good idea.”

And then again, Facebook is planning to launch it’s own cryptocurrency, leading to suspicions that its policies were stacked in favour of its own strategy, something that Facebook no doubt strenuously denies.

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