Cryptocurrency scammers of the world, rejoice! Facebook’s got your back.
The social media company revealed in a new set of guidelines that it’s partially reversing its ban on cryptocurrency advertisements, reopening the door for all kinds of sketchy shilling on the 2 billion-plus person platform.
This is a change from just last January, when the company declared that it would no longer allow the advertisement of “financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency.”
At the time, the company claimed the move was part of an effort to “make it harder for scammers to profit from a presence on Facebook.”
So what changed? Perhaps Facebook realized that scammers’ money spends just as easily as the non-morally questionable kind? We reached out to Facebook in an attempt to determine what motivated the reversal, but received no response as of press time.
Importantly, this does not mean that your feed is about to be cluttered with paid ICO announcements — under the new rules those appear to still be banned. What’s more, would-be crypto-advertisers have to first get approved by Facebook to run the ads in question (the 6-part registration form is will surely keep out the bad actors).
And it’s not like any old shitcoin purveyor now has free reign to buy Facebook ads. In a lengthy addendum to the new rules, the company says that it may demand you prove you have all the appropriate licenses required by law “governing money transmission, electronic money, deposit-taking, banking, payment systems and operators, anti-money laundering, investment services, securities, or other forms of financial services.”
But then again, you may not need to. After all, Facebook is notoriously lax when it comes to policing its own ads infrastructure. Remember when ProPublica discovered that advertisers could pay to target “Jew haters” on the site? Yeah.
So, to all you scammers of the world: Go ahead and fire up your browsers and start placing Facebook ad buys for Ron Paul-backed Bitcoin IRAs. With a little help from your Menlo Park friends, you and your customers can ride this rollercoaster all the way down, together.
UPDATE: June 26, 2018, 1:02 p.m. PDT: A Facebook spokesperson responded to our request for comment, and reiterated that this move is not “a full reversal.”
“Cryptocurrency advertisers still have to apply and qualify, and ICOs and binary options remain banned,” wrote the spokesperson over email. “This is an update to the policy as we committed to do.”
The spokesperson also pointed to a Facebook blog post announcing the change, which emphasizes the application process for advertisers and notes that “not everyone who wants to advertise will be able to do so.”