In a sweeping change to site policy today, Facebook has opted to ban all advertising on its platform pertaining to cryptocurrency.
The newly added 29th section of the company’s advertising policies, which reads as an indictment of blockchain startups writ large, states (emphasis ours):
Ads must not promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings, or cryptocurrency.
The new advertising policy offers a few telling examples of the kinds of ads it aims to prohibit:
The constraints of the ban are described by the company as “intentionally broad,” and the enforcement is similarly wide-reaching. Bans to crypto-based schemes and businesses will apply not just to Facebook, but to Instagram and external websites using Facebook’s Audience Network to serve ads.
Growing enforcement from financial agencies in the US and abroad, and a number of high-profile scams make association with cryptocurrency potentially toxic to Facebook’s badly tarnished image. In this instance, playing it safe appears to be a net positive to both the company and its users.