Google will ban all advertisements for cryptocurrency-related content, including Bitcoin, Initial Coin Offerings, trading advice and wallets. The company will no longer allow ads about these and more cryptocurrency-related topics. The reason behind these actions is that Google wants to “combat new threats and improve the ads experience online”. All cryptocurrency content will be banned across all of Google’s ad platforms.
The changes include companies and projects with legitimate cryptocurrency-related businesses. Even cryptocurrency news outlets will not be allowed to advertise on Google’s ad platforms. These platforms place adverts on Google’s own websites and third-party sites.
Google’s director of sustainable ads, Scott Spencer said in Google’s blogpost:
“As consumer trends evolve and as our methods to protect the open web get better, so do online scams…Improving the ads experience across the web, whether that’s removing harmful ads or intrusive ads, will continue to be a top priority for us.”
What else do we know about the Google crypto ban?
Google is updating its ad policies about financial services. The company is planning to ban all advertisements for cryptocurrencies from June. This is done in efforts to crackdown on unregulated financial products. Google will also begin to block adverts of some types of gambling websites. These sites include ones that gamble virtual items like skins and other digital content.
Scott Spencer said in Google’s blogpost:
“We updated several policies to address ads in unregulated or speculative financial products like binary options, cryptocurrency, foreign exchange markets and contracts for difference (or CFDs).”
Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies have exploded in popularity since last year. It is natural that with the cryptocurrency price explosions, there is an explosion in popularity. Google Trends charts show that between the middle untill the endof 2017, cryptocurrency-related searches increased multiple times.
The increased attention to the industry and the fact that it is not regulated attracted many scam artists. There were some instances where Initial Coin Offerings generated millions of dollars in raised capital then the project owners vanished with the money. Scott Spencer also said:
“We don’t have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we’ve seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it’s an area that we want to approach with extreme caution.”
Google said that they removed more than 3.2 billion ads that violated its policies in 2017. These include phishing scams and websites or malvertising. This number is almost double than the ads removed in the previous year.
Facebook was the first giant to ban cryptocurrency advertisements
The move by Google follows the same ban by Facebook earlier this year. Facebook banned all cryptocurrency and ICO related advertisements in January. The company made the big decision to update their advertising policy after finding that many advertisements were used to scam and lie to investors. Facebook wanted to make it harder for scammers to profit with their presence on the social media.
They also encouraged users to help maintain the community by also reporting content that violates the new policy. Mark Zuckerberg said in a blogpost:
“We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams and deception. That said there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith.”
Read more about Facebook’s advertising policy change in this article.
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