SAN FRANCISCO — Want to get rich quick through Bitcoins or other virtual currencies? You’ll have to do it without Facebook.
The social network said Tuesday that it would ban all ads for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, in order to stop promotions that it sees as “frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”
Under Facebook’s new policy, no ads from well-known digital currency exchanges or for initial coin offerings will be allowed. Among those who will be affected is James Altucher, a self-described “crypto genius” whose viral ads have become a talking point in how the cryptocurrency boom has led to scams and wild price fluctuations.
Facebook’s move followed questions about whether it has done enough to protect its site from bad actors. The company has been trying to clamp down on misinformation and false news after admitting last year that Russian agents had used it to spread divisive and polarizing messages.
The world of cryptocurrencies, which people have flooded into as prices soared in recent months, has also increasingly raised fears that parts of the market are dogged by scams. The Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday that it had halted what may have been a fraudulent initial coin offering that asked people to fund what was supposed to be the world’s first “decentralized bank.”
Rob Leathern, a Facebook product management director, announced the ban on cryptocurrency ads in a blog post. He said the ban was intentionally broad, as Facebook seeks to “better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices.”
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