Twitter moves to ban crypto ads

Twitter is the latest social service to boot out cryptocurrency advertisers. The company told Reuters it will be launching a new policy this week to prohibit the advertising of token sales/initial coin offerings (ICOs), and crypto wallet services.

Ads for cryptocurrency exchanges will also be banned — with some limited exceptions.

Facebook announced a ban in January, while Google said earlier this month that it will ban them from June.

Twitter confirmed the policy change to us, providing the following statement: “We are committed to ensuring the safety of the Twitter community. As such, we have added a new policy for Twitter Ads relating to cryptocurrency. Under this new policy, the advertisement of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and token sales will be prohibited globally.”

“We will continue to iterate and improve upon this policy as the industry evolves,” it added — flagging its current restricted content policies around financial services.

A company spokesperson told us it expects to update its ads policies page within the next hour. At the time of writing the page was last updated on August 30th 2017.

Since then Twitter has faced criticism for hosting crypto ads on its platform at a time when concern over cryptocurrency-related scams and risks have been voiced by regulators around the world. As we wrote earlier this month, banning these sorts of adverts really is a no brainer at this stage — so it’s good to see it listening and rethinking its approach.

Twitter has been taking some action to tackle crypto scams. Earlier this month we reported it had been suspending some users for soliciting crypto — in an apparent effort to crack down on scammers’ ability to use the platform.

But, at the time, it was not keen to comment on its crypto ads policy — even though its existing ads policy prohibits unsafe and deceptive ads and/or ads that make misleading claims.

As we said then a platform level ban on crypto advertising is just common sense — at least until the market is properly regulated.

We understand Twitter’s new crypto ads policy will continue to be reviewed as the industry evolves.

And while ICOs/token sale ads will be banned globally there’s some wiggle room for exchanges and wallet services — with only those provided by a public company listed on certain major stock markets allowed to buy Twitter ads.

In certain market further restrictions may also apply — such as that exchanges must be regulated by an FSA to be allowed to purchase ads.