Bloom Blockchain Banned From Posting Any Advertisements On Facebook, Suspicion Ensues
Facebook has been becoming more aggressive in restricting cryptocurrency products and platforms from advertising on their social media website, though the journey to do so has been varied. For 2017 and earlier, there did not seem to be any type of ban, which could have helped along the progress that the crypto market saw through that year. However, in January, Facebook and Google alike decided to ban any advertising of cryptocurrency on their platforms.
In June, over the summer, Facebook made an alteration to the ban. Though they would still block advertisements that would solicit users to participate in initial coin offerings (ICOs) and “binary options,” they decided to allow cryptocurrencies and “related content” to advertise. Per the new policy, the new advertisers would be required to be vetted.
Product management director Robert Leathern explained the vetting process at the time, saying,
“Advertisers wanting to run ads for cryptocurrency products and services must submit an application to help us assess their eligibility—including any licenses they have obtained, whether they are traded on a public stock exchange, and other relevant public background on their business. Given these restrictions, not everyone who wants to advertise will be able to do so.”
Facebook has decided to show how serious they are able this policy with a new ban against a blockchain-based startup called Bloom. Jesse Leimgruber, the co-founder of Bloom, started off with doing something that many startups do by advertising on Facebook, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to do so. The online identity protection service thrived as the ads ran, but Facebook abruptly put an end to the campaign this month.
Leimgruber was shocked, saying, “They just banned it. This was a huge killer for us.” In an explanation to the startup, Facebook notified Bloom that the decision was based on accusation that Bloom was offering deceptive financial services options. However, for anyone that has not used their service yet, Bloom has commented that there are not any financial products that they actually sell. Instead, the platform has the option to apply for loans, considering that the ID solution offers credit scoring to help the process. In Leimgruber’s opinion, Facebook is trying to eliminate the competition against their ID solution called Facebook Login.
Sources say that Facebook has been working on another department within their company to create a blockchain strategy, and they may even create a digital coin that would make payments on the website easier. However, the current ban noted that the inclusion of the words “Ethereum” and “blockchain” confused their verification system, banning the ads.
A representative for Facebook said,
“While we loosened the policy this summer, it remains restrictive. We will continue to listen to feedback, look at how well this policy works and continue to study this technology so that, if necessary, we can revise it over time.”
It does not seem that Leimgruber is accepting of this reasoning. Instead, he stays suspicious, considering how the ads had been on display publicly for months after the January ban went into place. Still, the note to Bloom said,
“We don’t allow ads that promote financial products and services, such as binary options and initial coin offerings that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”
Bloom has since appealed the ban, and they have even tried to forward the advertisements that they have not had issues with in the past. Still, nothing has worked. Leimgruber explained, “They just do not get approved. They just get blocked.” However, it seems that Leimgruber left one detail out when they spoke to CNBC – that they operate a smart token called BLT, which supports the Bloom ecosystem. Since the ban from Facebook this month, their token has nearly doubled in price.