A Progressive, Yet Hypocritical Step Forward
The ban was first instilled in early 2018. Rescinding it, while progressive, also seems a little hypocritical. After all, Facebook was originally against bitcoin and other forms of crypto to the point that businesses could no longer use their advertising services, yet now that it’s entering the space, all’s well and the ban is lifted.
This is the same double standard that allowed the company to side with Cambridge Analytica. To sell user information to third parties for advertising-based purposes is a disturbing tactic, and one that likely compromised the privacy of many social media users, yet now Zuckerberg is claiming the company will focus primarily on privacy and security. Why the sudden change of heart? Feeling fearful or guilty, there?
Nevertheless, the company is opening the doors for other companies to step in and advertise their digital assets and related practices for any traders who might be interested. Originally, all ads pertaining to crypto and initial coin offerings (ICOs) were banned in January 2018. This later eased up in June of that year to allow advertising for companies that had received “prior written approval.” Now, it appears several crypto-based ads will be permissible on the platform.
In a blog post, Facebook announced to readers:
We’ve listened to feedback and assessed the policy’s effectiveness. While we will still require people to apply to run ads promoting cryptocurrency, starting today, we will narrow this policy to no longer require pre-approval for ads related to blockchain technology, industry news, education or events related to cryptocurrency.
Among the largest companies affected by Facebook’s previous ban was Bloom, a startup based in San Francisco, California. The company uses blockchain to help people maintain control “over their personal data online.” How interesting that such a company would be affected by the practices of another tied to Cambridge Analytica. Could this just be a coincidence?
Either way, Bloom spent many hundreds of thousands of dollars on Facebook ads, only to see them fully banned by Facebook in October of last year.
What Is Facebook Planning?
Bloom issued its own statement regarding the change in Facebook’s policies, stating:
It’s good to see them (hopefully) evolve their stance on new technology that puts users in control of their data.
Currently, the social media conglomerate is communicating with payment companies like Visa and Mastercard to garner more than $1 billion in new funding for its crypto platform. In addition, its new currency – known as Facebook Coin – will allegedly be a stable currency, much like USD Coin or Tether. Stable currencies are those tied to fiat such as USD or the euro, thereby preventing them from falling victim to price volatility.