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Facebook bans cryptocurrency ads amid fears about scams

Queenie Wong, The Mercury News on

Published in Science & Technology News

Facebook said this week it is banning ads that promote cryptocurrencies because of concerns about scams and deceptive practices.

The hype around bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has fueled the popularity of the digital assets. But as advertisers also jump on the bandwagon, fears about cryptocurrency scams continue to escalate.

"We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception. That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith," wrote Rob Leathern, Facebook's product management director.

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Facebook said its new advertising rules are "intentionally broad" as the tech firm works on improving how it detects scams on the world's largest social media site.

Some of the ads Facebook cited in its policy included language such as "Use your retirement funds to buy Bitcoin!"

The new rules comes as the company is trying to understand more about cryptocurrencies.

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In January, Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg cited cryptocurrency as an example of how technology can decentralize power.

"But they come with the risk of being harder to control. I'm interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services," he wrote.

Facebook, which reports its fourth-quarter and full year results on Wednesday, said it will begin enforcing the rules and it will also apply to ads on Instagram.

(c)2018 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

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