Facebook backtracks on ban and will again allow Cryptocurrency Ads

Facebook backtracks on ban and will again allow Cryptocurrency Ads

In January, Facebook banned cryptocurrency ads from its platform.  The ban was part of an attempt to stomp out the use of the social media giant to aid fraudulent behaviors in not only the cryptosphere, but the entire financial sector.  Facebook described the effort as a way to protect its users from “financial products and services frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”  
Now, in a policy reversal, Facebook will once again allow companies to purchase ad space for cryptocurrencies.
Although enforcing a ban on cryptocurrency related ads for about a half a year, Facebook has displayed an overall open attitude in regards to blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Mark Zuckerberg has alluded to Facebook’s desire to use blockchain technology to fix the security and privacy problems that the company faced in the last few years.
In May, Facebook also formed a blockchain team headed by a Coinbase board member, further signaling their intentions to enter the crypto space.  
Rob Leathern, Facebook’s Product Management Director acknowledged the vague nature of the company’s policy at the time of the original ban in January noting, “this policy is intentionally broad while we work to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices… We will revisit this policy and how we enforce it as our signals improve.”
Even while loosening the restrictions on cryptocurrency and blockchain startups, the company still stands by its intentions to prevent misleading services from advertising with Facebook.  The team at Facebook will continue to prohibit advertisements for initial coin offerings or ICOs, which have been shown to be a breeding ground for scams.
Going forward, Facebook will deploy a vetting system to review any entity that wishes to buy ad space on the social media platform.  According to the announcement, companies that wish “to run ads for cryptocurrency products and services must submit an application to help us assess their eligibility — including any licenses they have obtained, whether they are traded on a public stock exchange, and other relevant public background on their business.
Given these restrictions, not everyone who wants to advertise will be able to do so. But we’ll listen to feedback, look at how well this policy works and continue to study this technology so that, if necessary, we can revise it over time.”
As Facebook revises its policy regarding cryptocurrency, other social media platforms may follow suit.  A more lenient attitude toward crypto advertising could help to spread the word about the growing technology and assist in ushering in its acceptance; but, it may be just as likely that crypto ads will simply serve to aid scams.