Microsoft’s “Ad Quality Year in Review 2018” Reveals 5 Million Blocked Crypto Ads
Microsoft has been clear in their marketing ban against cryptocurrencies over the last year, and the recent review of their progress over 2018 shows exactly that. As reported by The Next Web, Microsoft managed to block over 5 million cryptocurrency ads from being posted via their Bing search engine.
The Bing platform has previously expressed a disdain for sketchy advertising, which comes with a lot of spam. Through a blog, the company explained that these advertisers often flood Bing with ads that are “harmful,” misleading,” and “persuasive,” all while looking completely innocent. However, these URLS leave consumers open to phishing, malware attacks, and other forms of fraud.
In the blog, Bing continues, explaining how there have been 200,000 accounts that have been completely banned from the platform so far, which is double the number of accounts that were banned the year before. Bing also removed a total of 900 million advertisements and 300,000 websites that Bing deemed to be bad. They compared to the concentration of these advertisements and websites to the extraction time it would be if a single person found one every second, saying it would take 30 years to do what the company’s automated methods did.
Even though there were a substantial amount of advertisements removed for their suspicious qualities, less than 1% of them had anything to do with cryptocurrency, even though the total was over 5 million. The removed ads also included 18 million weapon-related ads.
Much of the purpose of banning cryptocurrencies from the online ads has to do with the volatility of the market, and the way that many investors and speculators are looking for fast returns. However, the fact that Bitcoin is anonymous, and that the United States (at the time) had not established many regulatory policies, scammers and online hackers used the industry as a tool to steal from unsuspecting users. Ultimately, Bing chose to ban all cryptocurrency content, abstaining from the investigation of any advertisements for legitimacy. Only a few months before, Facebook had laid down a similar policy, which has since been modified.
Google chose a policy somewhere in between. Originally, early in 2018, Google banned advertisements that had anything to do with the crypto industry. However, in October, they chose to change the rules by offering exchanges the chance to submit their websites for approval, which mainly impacted the US and Japan.
Considering how risky that Bing still views scammers to be, they will not be lifting their policy anytime soon. They noted that, even with all of the work they do to ban these ads, they may still pop up. If you use a Bing browser, make sure to report any crypto ads that may come up.