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After Facebook, Google to ban cryptocurrency ads

Updating its financial services-related ad policies to ban any advertising about cryptocurrency-related content, including initial coin offerings (ICOs), wallets and trading advice

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  • Google also bans cryptocurrency ads
  • Earlier facebook banned them as well
  • The ban will come into force from July

Taking a cue from Facebook, Google has announced that it will ban advertisements for cryptocurrencies and other “speculative financial products” across its ad platforms. The ban on such advertisements will come into force from June.

“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),” Scott Spencer, Google’s Director of Sustainable Ads, said in a blog post on Tuesday.

Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay
Earlier Facebook had banned cryptocurrency ads. Pixabay

“In June 2018, Google will update the financial services policy to restrict the advertisement of contracts for difference, rolling spot forex and financial spread betting,” Google said.

Updating its financial services-related ad policies to ban any advertising about cryptocurrency-related content, including initial coin offerings (ICOs), wallets and trading advice, the Alphabet-owned company said that this policy will apply globally to all accounts that advertise these financial products. In 2017, Google took down more than 3.2 billion ads that violated its advertising policies.

Also Read: Twitter working to fix cryptocurrency scam issue

“That’s more than 100 bad ads per second! This means we’re able to block the majority of bad ad experiences, like malvertising and phishing scams, before the scams impact people,” Spencer added.

Google also blocked 79 million ads in its network for attempting to send people to malware-laden sites and removed 400,000 of these unsafe sites last year. “We removed 66 million “trick-to-click” ads as well as 48 million ads that were attempting to get users to install unwanted software,” the company said.

Last year, Google removed 320,000 publishers from its ad network for violating its publisher policies and blacklisted nearly 90,000 websites and 700,000 mobile apps. Scammers are using “crypto-jacking” or putting lines of code in websites or ads to surreptitiously harness the computing power of the web surfers who look at them.

The power is used to mine cryptocurrency — a digital form of money that has no government or central-bank printing it or standing behind it. In January, social media giant Facebook banned all ads promoting cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and ICOs.

The new policy prohibits ads that promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, Facebook said in a statement.

“We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception.

“That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith,” said Rob Leathern, Product Management Director at Facebook.

Facebook invests big in Community Leaders Program. AFP
Facebook representatives say that companies dealing with cryptocurrency are not currently working in good faith. AFP

However, according to DD Mishra, Research Director, Gartner, there have been instances of fraudulent advertisement from some of the bitcoin-based financial products, like the cryptocurrency-based investment funds which are banned in some countries.

“There are also lots of misleading speculations around cryptocurrencies. The concern Google or Facebook may have at this point in time for its customers may be genuine. But such policies to blanket ban certain products will have an adverse impact on its adoption as well,” Mishra told IANS. “A blanket ban for a longer or indefinite period can be counter-productive and may not be a sustainable option,” he added. IANS

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Teenage Girls Being Urged To Befriend ‘Middle-Aged Men’ On Facebook: Report

In October, Facebook had removed 8.7 million user images of child nudity

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Fake News, Facebook, dating
This photo shows the logo for Facebook on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square. VOA

Facebook is encouraging grooming by offering teenage girls middle-aged men as ‘friend suggestions’, the media reported.

Teenage girls, as young as 13-year-olds, who join the social network are given up to 300 suggestions for who they can add as friends, some of which include middle-aged men who are topless in their profile photos, The Telegraph reported late on Saturday.

Facebook has said that was not a typical experience for teenagers for signing up for the service and that it has safeguards built into its recommendation system.

Following the findings, UK-based charity the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has called for friend recommendations to be suspended for children on the social networking giant’s platform.

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A cellphone user looks at a Facebook page at a shop in Latha street, Yangon, Myanmar. VOA

‘Groomers are seeking to infiltrate children’s friendship groups on social networks, often with the intention to move children to live streaming or encrypted sites where it is easier for them to commit sexual abuse,” Andy Burrows, NSPCC Associate Head of Child Safety Online, was quoted as saying.

“Social media algorithms risk making it easier for groomers to find and contact children and ‘friend of friend’ or ‘new follower’ recommendations can add legitimacy to their requests, which is why we are calling for these features to be blocked for children.

“For too long social networks have failed to make their platforms safe for children, and that is why the Home Secretary must commit to strong and effective regulation to finally ensure that children’s safety is non-negotiable,” she said.

According to Facebook, the company has safeguards to protect children. However, the campaigners warn that the networking giant must do more to stop groomers who use the site to become friendly with children.

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This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“Grooming is incredibly serious, and we have teams specifically focused on keeping children safe, informed by extensive research and outside experts,” said a spokesman for Facebook, the Daily Mail reported on Saturday.

“We use artificial intelligence to proactively identify cases of inappropriate interactions with minors and we refer potential abuse to law enforcement.

“We limit how children can be found in search, we remind them to only accept friend requests from people they know and we caution them before making public posts.”

Also Read: Twitter Giving Its Users More Freedom To Report Fake, Suspicious Accounts

In October, Facebook had removed 8.7 million user images of child nudity with the help of previously undisclosed machine learning software that automatically flagged such photos during the last quarter.

The company has said that it is also considering rolling out systems for spotting child nudity and grooming to Instagram. (IANS)