Facebook has become the first social media network to have a change of mind over a ban on cryptocurrency advertising.
The site banned all cryptocurrency advertising, along with promoting binary options and initial coin offerings (ICOs) in January.
The aim was to stop rogue traders and fraudsters ripping off Facebook users with scam schemes.
Since then, the network seems to have had a rethink culminating in new rules, according to insiders.
Binary options and ICOs stay blocked – but firms that promote cryptocurrency products or services can go back into the fold, providing that they jump through several application hoops set by the company.
Qualifying restrictions on companies
In a long and detailed Facebook Cryptocurrency Ads Addendum, the site clearly explains cryptocurrency advertising will be allowed – but only if strict qualifying requirements are met in full.
Now, pre-approved advertisers can promote their businesses on Facebook – the ban was lifted on June 26.
These advertisers must complete a Cryptocurrency products and services onboarding request
The six-stage application asks detailed questions about the advertiser, their business and cryptocurrency content they wish to post online.
“Cryptocurrency content includes without limitation advertisements or content concerning cryptocurrency; cryptocurrency trading platforms; initial coin offerings; cryptocurrency-related products including hardware, services, educational offerings, and consumer goods; and cryptocurrency news, information, and advocacy,” says Facebook.
Misleading or deceptive advertising
“In January, we 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 and cryptocurrency,” said Facebook’s product management director Rob Leathern.
“At the time we also made clear that 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.
“In the last few months, we’ve looked at the best way to refine this policy — to allow some ads while also working to ensure that they’re safe. So starting June 26, we have updated our policy to allow ads that promote cryptocurrency and related content from pre-approved advertisers.”
Internet giants Google, Snapchat and Twitter are imposing their own financial product bans that cover cryptocurrencies from June.