In a significant development last week, social media giant Facebook announced a partial reversal of the ban on cryptocurrency advertising. The ban, in place, since January this year, had impacted various cryptocurrency companies, third-party apps, and advertisers across the globe. Now, after analysing the ways in which ad malpractices might be perpetrated, it has arrived at a decision about keeping the ads promoting cryptocurrency itself.
In this update, advertisers wishing to promote cryptocurrency ads will first need to submit the application. Their business and ads will be assessed against public information and trading information. This will help Facebook decide if the ad is legit and allowable under their ‘selective’ ad display policy. Yes, you read that right. Not all ads on cryptocurrencies will be allowed. Only the ones that pass the Facebook ad scrutiny will be allowed.
Which ads are not allowed?
The ban will still be applicable to those who deal in initial coin offerings or ICOs. It also bars companies that deal in binary options. Both these forms of businesses are considered extremely risky, and hence they still carry the ban. Out of the scope of the ban are ads for cryptocurrencies themselves and related content.
A background on the ban
In January this year, Facebook had banned ads for binary options, initial coin offerings, and for cryptocurrency. It deemed these financial products as misleading and fraught with risks. Keeping up with its endeavours for prioritising users’ ROI over its own earnings, it had imposed a blanket ban on all ads promoting cryptocurrency. The ban covered ads running on Facebook, as well as Facebook-owned Instagram. It also spanned the Audience Network ad network of third-party sites and apps.
The ban was carried out to allow the company time to decide how advertisers may use fraudulent or unethical ways to promote their cryptocurrency business via the actual currency, ICOs, and binary options.
The last few months have given the team valuable insights on how to refine the policy for the best user experience. Their emphasis on safe advertising prevents risks and deceptive advertising practices. As an outcome, this month onwards, advertisers promoting cryptocurrencies are off the ‘banned’ list. This is applicable as long as they are pre-vetted by the social media network through the Facebook application process.
What is the future like?
Facebook continues to dwell on its policies. It might not be a surprise if in the future there are further announcements diluting the ban upon meeting certain pre-requisites. The spokesperson clearly states that they will listen to feedback in order to gauge how well the policy works. They will continue monitoring the policy update. This will help them determine if any tweaks or changes are needed.
Interestingly many are tying up this policy change to the fact that Facebook is reportedly doing R&D on its own cryptocurrency to drive trade between Facebook users. Many believe that this move is intended to make its foray into cryptocurrency smoother without the hassles of conflicts.
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