Facebook will ban all ads that promote cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, to prevent people from advertising what the company is calling “financial products and services frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”
“This policy is intentionally broad while we work to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices,” wrote Rob Leathern, one of Facebook’s ad tech directors. “We will revisit this policy and how we enforce it as our signals improve.”
Leathern recognizes that the policy is broad, but he says that’s intentional.
The plan is to continue working to better detect deceptive and misleading ads that pertain to cryptocurrencies, ICOs and binary options.
Over time, Facebook says it will revisit the policy and its enforcement mechanisms. In the meantime, Facebook is encouraging people to report content that violates the new policy.
“This policy is part of an ongoing effort to improve the integrity and security of our ads, and to make it harder for scammers to profit from a presence on Facebook,” Leathern wrote.
That means even legitimate and proven business such Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin are unable to advertise, as well as their groups for enthusiasts, investors, and entrepreneurs. ICOs are forbidden as are tokens and all crypto coins.
The most aggressive online advertiser for crypto investing has been self described “crypto-genius” James Altucher, who has taken out banner ads on sites such as Facebook and Breitbart News.
He’s been banned from Facebook, though Breitbart still allows him to advertise as part of their newsletter to more than 1 million subscribers.
Altucher’s ads often feature hyperbolic rhetoric touting messages such as “New must-own cryptocurrencies could turn as little as $10 into a fortune” and “Amazon makes announcement February 2and that sends this crypto up 10,000%.”
Altucher has predicted the price of bitcoin will reach $1 million by 2020. He has also bought a New York City comedy club and does standup on Bitcoin and cryptos.
Ads that violate the company’s new policy will be banned on Facebook’s core app but also in other places where Facebook sells ads, including Instagram and its ad network, Audience Network, which places ads on third-party apps.
Facebook competitor Twitter has not announced plans to ban cryptos and remains a hotbed of cryptos news and announcements, though Twitter is still a publishing rather than ad platform.
There has been intense criticism from crypto entrepreneurs and claims of hypocrisy.
Facebook’s board of directors includes two investors, Marc Andreessen and Peter Thiel, whose firms have been prominent crypto backers.
Facebook Messenger boss David Marcus is also on the board at the popular crypto exchange Coinbase, which is now banned from advertising on Facebook.
The company’s decision comes almost one month after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that he was examining cryptocurrencies to see if they could be of any use to his company.