Social networking company Facebook has announced a reversal of its previously announced ban on advertisements related to cryptocurrencies.
In a blog post titled ‘Updates to Our Prohibited Financial Products and Services Policy’, published on Tuesday this week, Facebook’s Product Management Director Rob Leathern wrote that the company has revisited and refined its policy.
“… we’ll be updating our policy to allow ads that promote cryptocurrency and related content from pre-approved advertisers. But we’ll continue to prohibit ads that promote binary options and initial coin offerings.”
In January this year, Facebook announced a blanket ban on all advertisements related to cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICOs) and binary options. The move (which was criticized on several counts) was primarily geared toward curbing the spread of fake information in the midst of growing scams and frauds in the cryptoverse, to protect users from crypto products/services employing “misleading or deceptive promotional practices”.
As per the company’s latest blog post, however, Facebook will now be allowing “some” ads, while “working to ensure that they’re safe”. All parties interested in running advertisements for crypto-related products and services will be required to submit an application, which will then be evaluated by Facebook to determine their eligibility, in terms of criteria such as “any licenses they have obtained, whether they are traded on a public stock exchange, and other relevant public background on their business”.
Leathern went on to state:
“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.”
Bans on crypto-related advertising by other tech giants such as Google and Twitter, meanwhile, remain in effect.
Since the initial announcement of Facebook’s crypto ad ban, the crypto industry has felt the dearth of advertising options dearly, with companies clamoring for the limited inventory provided by crypto publications and related sites. Initial coin offerings are likely to have felt the blow the hardest, as limited advertising options make it considerably harder to attract contributors and investors.
While Facebook’s move was, and for now remains, a good thing in terms of protecting consumers from scams and fraudulent ICOs, it remains to be seen whether Facebook will allow any leniency for ICOs moving forward, perhaps when they are adequately regulated.