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Facebook Ban Not Enough to Stop Crypto-Related Ads

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 1 min read

At the end of last month, Facebook published their decision to ban ICO and cryptocurrency-related ads – but bad actors are still getting through the ban easily.

As tech-founder Matthieu Suiche tweeted, ads are now using a zero instead of O, small-case L instead of capital i, and other ways of slipping through that are not easily noticeable in most fonts. Spot the difference: BITCOIN vs. BITC0lN. Buzzfeed’s Ryan Mac noticed something similar: instead of writing blockchain, creators of the ad in question used “Block (Chain)” to get around the ban.

In a statement accompanying the announcement about the ban on these ads, Rob Leathern, Facebook’ product management director, admitted the initial policy is intentionally broad, “while we work to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices, and enforcement will begin to ramp up across our platforms including Facebook, Audience Network and Instagram,” he added.

The broadness of this policy includes anything with the word crypto in it, meaning that companies, publishers hoping to share educational materials, consulting services, news about the blockchain industry also fall under these restrictions. Draper University has been unable to share ads about their courses on cryptocurrency, for example – something with no correlation to ICO frauds.

It is important to point out that this only applies to advertising; Facebook places no restrictions on sharing crypto-related posts on personal timelines, pages or groups.