Twitter May Ban Cryptocurrency-Related Advertisements

ICO News, News | March 19, 2018 By:

Microblogging site Twitter will reportedly ban crypto-related advertisements within the next two weeks. Twitter is following similar moves by Facebook and Google which have restricted ads about cryptocurrencies due to concerns about illicit activities.

According to Sky News, Twitter is planning a new advertising policy that is expected to come into effect in a couple weeks. The new policy would block ads for initial coin offerings (ICO) and cryptocurrency wallets. It could also encompass a ban on ads for cryptocurrency exchanges. The report, however, suggests that the new policy will be launched with some “limited exceptions” in regards to trading platforms.

The microblogging platform has been having problems with fake accounts that perpetuate cryptocurrency-related scams, such as fake accounts that spoof some of the major players in the crypto space. Last month, an account posing as billionaire Elon Musk was suspended. The account targeted followers of the billionaire and claimed to be giving away cryptocurrencies.

At the time, a Twitter spokesperson said that they are aware of this form of manipulation and were proactively implementing a number of signals to prevent these types of accounts from engaging with others in a deceptive manner.

Earlier this month, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey wrote that the company was “on it” when cryptocurrency watcher Emin Gün Sirer highlighted the prevalence of cryptocurrency “scams” on the site.

“Crypto-spam reached untenable proportions recently,” said Sirer. “It was impossible to discuss any topic without having some spammer jump in, impersonate a crypto celebrity, and try to collect coins from people with promises of easy gains. These scams are getting out of hand. @jack, @twitter, if you can’t detect this kind of brazen scam, what hope do you have of improving your platform?”

In January, Facebook announced that it was banning crypto-related ads, including ICOs. Facebook stated that ads should not promote financial products and services frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.

Last week, Google stated that it will will ban ads for cryptocurrencies and “speculative financial products” across its advertising platforms starting in June.

Google’s move has drawn strong reaction from the crypto community. According to Russian media reports, the first lawsuit against the ban has been filed in a Moscow district court. Vladimir Orehov, a local businessman, filed a lawsuit against the Russian-registered Google entity ООО «Гугл».

Orehov said the ban will deprive him of opportunities to invest in crypto projects and also find other investors willing to support his business plans. He insists on receiving compensation for his foregone earnings to the amount of ₽2 billion RUB (almost $35M USD).

Joe McCann, founder and CEO of NodeSource, said any Twitter ban would only validate cryptocurrency.

“Governments and now media outlets are attempting to “protect” the public from this burgeoning asset class when in reality, the global populous is moving forward without them.  Scam artists exist everywhere including highly regulated industries as noted with the Bernie Madoff scandal. With moves by startup unicorn Coinbase into areas like custody and many institutional investors vying for access to the cryptoassets market, stopping the flow of information via advertising is analogous to putting a band-aid on a crack in a dam.”