Twitter is preparing to join Google and Facebook in banning cryptocurrency ads over its platform.
The company will roll out the new policy in two weeks, according to a source familiar with Twitter’s plans. Advertisements for initial coin offerings, token sales, and digital wallets to store the virtual currencies will all be prohibited.
Twitter may also decide to eliminate ads for cryptocurrency exchanges with some exceptions, according to Sky News, which was first to report the crackdown.
In recent months, more and more scammers have been using the platform to dupe Twitter users into handing over their digital coins. The most prominent examples have been the emergence of fake Twitter accounts pretending to be celebrities, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The scammers promise to donate over $1 million in a cryptocurrency to the public, but only if gullible victims first send a bit of their own virtual coin to a digital wallet under the scammers’ control.
Earlier this March, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the company has seen a spike in these cryptocurrency-related scams. Culprits have also hijacked verified Twitter accounts and changed the handle to an official-sounding name, like a cryptocurrency developer or exchange, in order to fool victims into their schemes.
“We hope to have a lot more of it under control in the near future,” said Del Harvey, head of Twitter’s trust and safety during a Periscope stream.
The policy change is another blow for the cryptocurrency market, which has often been embroiled in scams and shady marketing schemes. In January, Facebook decided to ban the ads over misleading and deceptive promotional practices, like touting “no-risk” cryptocurrency bets or trying to convince consumers to buy Bitcoin with their retirement funds.
Last week, Google also announced that, starting in June, it will ban advertisements for ICOs, cryptocurrency exchanges, digital wallets and even those offering cryptocurrency trading advice.
As Facebook and Google are the internet’s leading digital advertising platforms, the bans will certainly hamper the reach of cryptocurrency-related marketers and scammers.