On January 29, 2018, in a heartening piece of news, Facebook announced a new policy to prohibit ads that "promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings, or cryptocurrency."
In the digital currency world, fraud has been a hideous blight. Almost daily, we are inundated with stories about hacks, phishing attempts, and theft. Fortunately, in the United States, regulatory agencies like the SEC and CFTC have moved swiftly to stymie suspected lawbreakers.
The challenge, though, will be separating the good from the bad. For now, it sounds like Facebook's policy will remove ads for all cryptocurrency-related ventures, even those that are legitimate.
"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," explained product management director Rob Leathern. "We will revisit this policy and how we enforce it as our signals improve."
Against the backdrop of possible international interference in the 2016 US election, today's announcement is also the latest indication that Facebook is getting serious about protecting consumers – and the truth. Earlier this month, company executives shared plans to rank and prioritize "trustworthy" news sources based on credibility evaluations by users.