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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 to introduce twitter-like updates to the artists. Wikimedia Commons
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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 Takes Action on The Terror-Related Content

Facebook took action on 1.9mn terror-related content

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Facebook page.
Facebook. Pixabay

Facebook took action on 1.9 million pieces of content related to the Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda in the first quarter of 2018, twice as much as the last quarter of 2017.

The key part is that Facebook found the vast majority of this content on its own.

“In Q1 2018, 99 per cent of the IS and Al Qaeda content we took action on was not user reported,” Monika Bickert, Vice President of Global Policy Management at Facebook, said in a blog post late on Monday.

“Taking action” means that Facebook removed the vast majority of this content and added a warning to a small portion that was shared for informational or counter speech purposes.

The Facebook's image.
Facebook. Pixabay

“This number likely understates the total volume, because when we remove a profile, Page or Group for violating our policies, all of the corresponding content becomes inaccessible.

But we don’t go back through to classify and label every individual piece of content that supported terrorism,” explained Brian Fishman, Global Head of Counterterrorism Policy at Facebook.

Facebook now has a counter-terrorism team of 200 people, up from 150 in June 2017.

Also Read: British Campaigner Sues Facebook Over Fake Ads

“We have built specialised techniques to surface and remove older content. Of the terrorism-related content we removed in Q1 2018, more than 600,000 pieces were identified through these mechanisms,” the blog post said.

“We’re under no illusion that the job is done or that the progress we have made is enough,” said Facebook.

“Terrorist groups are always trying to circumvent our systems, so we must constantly improve,” the company added.  IANS