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Facebook bans ads promoting cryptocurrencies

Yes, including bitcoin.
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Diy13 via Getty Images

Most of Facebook's recent advertising changes have tried to curb the danger of, you know, a foreign government using the social network to influence elections. But Facebook believes other kinds of harmful ads prey on less-than-savvy users with get-rich-quick promises and trendy buzzwords. So the network is banning all advertisements that promote cryptocurrencies -- yes, even bitcoin -- because they are 'frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.'

Facebook's newest ad policy also prohibits promotions for binary options and initial coin offerings (ICOs) -- the advertisements that seem like they're shouted by an online carnival barker. "New ICO! Buy tokens at a 15 percent discount NOW!" reads one example on Facebook's blog post.

Before you cry that some scammers are ruining the crypto game for everyone, Facebook admitted this policy is 'intentionally broad while we work to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices.' They'll begin enforcing this policy 'soon' on the core platform, Instagram, and its ad-placing Audience Network, and will revisit it after their signals improve. In the meantime, if you see a shady ad that Facebook's algorithm didn't catch, you can always report it by clicking in the upper-right corner.

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