Twitter is reportedly planning to be the next major media platform to ban certain cryptocurrency products and project advertising. The policy, according to Sky News, will be implemented in two weeks and would ban advertisements for initial coin offerings (ICOs), token sales, and cryptocurrency wallets across the globe.
The move by Twitter comes after numerous reports of a looming global regulatory crackdown on the cryptocurrency industry.
Twitter is following similar policies as other major tech companies like Google and Facebook. In late January, Facebook banned all ads for ICOs and cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin in an effort to combat against deceptive advertising in the market. Google followed Facebook’s move last week, announcing they will be cracking down on cryptocurrency related advertising come June.
The spirit of the planned bans by Facebook, Google, and now Twitter all appear to focus on concerns regarding ICO scams and the speculative nature of their advertising. This reported coming ban from Twitter would make three major online advertising companies banning cryptocurrency advertising, with Google and Facebook being top online marketing platforms.
Sky News also reported that Twitter is considering the possibility of banning advertisements for cryptocurrency exchanges, with some limited exceptions.
Earlier this month, cryptocurrency watcher Emin Gün Sirer took to Twitter with concerns about the prevalence of cryptocurrency scams on their platform. Fortune reported Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded by saying the platform is “on it.”
We are on it.
— jack (@jack) March 6, 2018
However, Sirer’s tweet was directed more toward the bot accounts filling the comment sections of major cryptocurrency industry leaders, rather than the paid advertising that has been banned on Facebook and Google.
The move by these major advertising platforms isn’t surprising. US financial regulators such as the CFTC and SEC have indicated their intentions of cracking down on these cryptocurrency offerings, partially because they see them as investment offerings. In addition, the 2017 surge of interest in blockchain technology and the creation of cryptocurrencies has shown that some of these new crypto offerings are scams.
Fortune reported that “Nearly half of 2017’s ICOs – sales in many ways similar to initial stock sales in startups – collapsed within months, with many supposed founders simply disappearing with the money they raised.”
These new social media advertising restrictions might be able to slow scammers down because of the impact these platforms have in promoting these projects. However, the full effects of these restrictions on the cryptocurrency market remain to be seen.