On Tuesday, Facebook announced that it would ban ads related to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It did this in order to stop what it sees as deceptive or misleading promotions.
The policy change means that the popular social network will no longer accept promotions that advertise initial coin offerings (ICOs). Nor will it accept promotions from known cryptocurrency exchanges. It will also reject ads from people such as James Altucher, who has created something of a viral sensation on the network as a so-called “crypto genius.”
The move comes after Facebook received criticism from many that the company wasn’t doing enough to protect users from the dissemination of false information. It especially to took heat in regards to ads that were allegedly created by Russian agents who were supposedly trying to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Rob Leathern, who is a product management director for Facebook and the person who announced the ban of cryptocurrency advertising, said that the ban was meant to be broad, so as to better stop misleading ads.
The ban comes in spite of the fact that Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg has recently tauted digital currencies. Earlier this month, he wrote a post on the site in which he said that he was considering some use of cryptocurrencies within Facebook. He further said that such currencies have the ability to put power in the hands of people, and away from centralized bodies.
Cryptocurrencies have created a worldwide craze as prices of them have skyrocketed in the past few months. But many fear that there are lots of scams among the legitimate offerings. In fact, on the same day that Facebook announced the ban on cryptocurrency ads, the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) halted what some think may have been a fraudulent ICO, issued by a company that claimed that it was organizing a “decentralized bank.”