Thursday, February 01, 2018 by Ethan Huff
As part of an ongoing effort to rid the platform of what it sees as questionable content, social media giant Facebook recently announced that it will no longer allow any advertising related to financial products and services, including anything associated with initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency.
The new policy states that its purpose is to prohibit “ads that promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices,” which apparently covers advertising related to digital currencies like Bitcoin.
Listed as examples of what will no longer appear on user feeds are statements like, “Start binary options trading now and receive a 10-risk free trades bonus!” and “Click here to learn more about our no-risk cryptocurrency that enables instant payments to anyone in the world.”
As justification for the move, Facebook insists that its goal is to allow only “safe” ads to appear in the system. It’s all part of a much larger effort by the tech behemoth to crack down on so-called “fake news,” which supposedly spread via the platform throughout the 2016 election cycle.
“We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception,” the company wrote in its public announcement. “That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith.”
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But aren’t there good companies out there offering ICOs and cryptocurrencies that aren’t scams or hoaxes, and that are operating in good faith? Sure there are. But just to be on the “safe” side, Facebook is prohibiting them all.
It might seem a bit draconian to some – especially those who are involved in the crypto world (whether with Bitcoin or one of its alternatives). But that’s the censorship model upon which Facebook of the future is apparently being built.
“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,” Facebook insists. “We will revisit this policy and how we enforce it as our signals improve.”
Should a Facebook user still encounter advertising for crypto-related products, the platform is urging him or her (or one of the other 69-or-so gender options offered on Facebook) to notify the company immediately by clicking the upper right-hand corner of the ad and reporting it.
Meanwhile, Facebook’s fourth-quarter statistics recently came out, and things aren’t looking good for the social media site. While earnings and revenues topped Wall Street’s expectations, use of the platform is seeing major declines.
Reports indicate that, for the first time ever, daily use of Facebook in the United States is actually shrinking – to the tune of about 50 million hours per day, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg.
Much of this decline likely has to do with Facebook’s growing “Big Brother” presence, not to mention the fact that many people are likely realizing that use of the service is doing major damage to the fabric of social and civil society.
“In 2018, we’re focused on making sure Facebook isn’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being and for society,” said Zuckerburg in a recent statement, attempting to stop the bleed. “We’re doing this by encouraging meaningful connections between people rather than passive consumption of content. By focusing on meaningful connections, our community and business will be stronger over the long term.”
Sources for this article include: