Monday 10th December 2018

Facebook reverses its ban on cryptocurrency advertisements

Facebook's new policy demands advertisers request written permission before advertising cryptocurrency related content. The restrictions are still far-reaching and Facebook admits that "not everyone who wants to advertise will be able to do so."
Jason Smith
by on 2nd July 2018

Facebook has reversed its ban on cryptocurrency advertisements, according to a post published by Rob Leathern, Facebook’s Product Management Director, who initially announced the ban back in January.

Facebook’s latest policy demands advertisers request “written permission” before promoting cryptocurrency or related products on its platform.

Facebook’s decision comes after the platform announced in May it has created a new team, under the leadership of David Marcus, the former President of PayPal, to explore blockchain technology.

Leathern claims the initial policy was “intentionally broad” for the purpose of giving Facebook more time to “better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices.”

In his latest statement, he also claims the social network has been looking at ways to refine its policy on cryptocurrency ads and has concluded permitting some cryptocurrency ads from pre-approved advertisers is the way forward.

Despite this, restrictions on cryptocurrency ads on Facebook are still far-reaching. In their request for written permission, Facebook suggests advertisers should include any licenses they have obtained, whether they are listed on a public stock exchange and any “other relevant public background on their business.”

Leathern admits that “Given these restrictions, not everyone who wants to advertise will be able to do so.”

Facebook isn’t the only large tech platform to have banned cryptocurrency advertisements. Google’s newly revised financial services ad policy, which came into force in June, states that “ads for cryptocurrency and related content” are “not allowed.”

It goes onto provide specific examples, which include “ads for initial coin offerings (ICO), ads promoting the purchase or sale of cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency wallets, cryptocurrency trading advice.”

According to a post on the official Google blog in March, the search giant removes more than 100 “bad ads” per second. In 2017, it took down more than 3.2 billion ads that violated its advertising policies.

Twitter, which has 330 million monthly active users, also announced a ban on cryptocurrency advertisements in March.