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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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Facebook Introduces New Tools to Protect Elections Globally

In April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of the US Senate, saying they were too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference

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Facebook expands security tools to protect elections globally. Pixabay

In order to further secure candidates and campaign staff vulnerable to hackers and nation-state actors during the elections, Facebook has introduced additional tools to protect political campaigns in the US and around the world.

The social media giant has launched a pilot programme to expand its existing protections for users associated with US political campaigns ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections.

“Candidates for federal or statewide office, as well as staff members and representatives from federal and state political party committees, can add additional security protections to their Pages and accounts,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook, wrote in a blog post late on Monday.

“We’ll help officials adopt our strongest account security protections, like two-factor authentication, and monitor for potential hacking threats,” Gleicher added.

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Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

Over the past year, the company has invested in new technology and more people to stay ahead of bad actors who are determined to use Facebook to disrupt elections.

“This pilot programme is an addition to our existing security tools and procedures, and we will apply what we learn to other elections in the US and around the world,” said Facebook.

“As we detect abuse, we will continue to share relevant information with law enforcement and other companies so we can maximise our effectiveness,” it added.

According to a report in Download, a working paper released last week revealed a significant drop-off in the engagements 570 fake news sites received on Facebook since the 2016 US presidential elections.

“At its peak, there were 200 million monthly engagements with the sites. As of July 2018, that’s dropped to 70 million,” the report added.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

In April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of the US Senate, saying they were too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference.

“Our sophistication in handling these threats is growing and improving quickly. We now have about 15,000 people working on security and content review. We’ll have more than 20,000 by the end of this year,” he told the lawmakers.

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The Facebook CEO apologised for what happened and took responsibility for everything. He also said that there is an online propaganda “arms race” with Russia and it was important to make sure no one interferes in any more elections, including in India.

“The most important thing I care about right now is making sure no one interferes in the various 2018 elections around the world,” he testified before a 44-Senator panel. (IANS)