This list is about to be expanded, starting 1st May, to include adverts that attempt to punt cryptocurrencies. Facebook took a similar stance as long ago as January, with Google only following suit now. This will put both Facebook and Google beyond the reach of cryptocurrencies as a whole, spelling bad news for the cryptocurrency market in general, and those who use it legitimately at online casinos, or to buy goods and services elsewhere.
But why is this being done?
Punting cryptocurrencies in adverts is, of course, not illegal in itself. Google has been quick to clarify this. Instead Google is implementing the blanket ban due to the excessively high numbers of adverts punting cryptocurrency in the form of very high-risk ventures. These ventures, often deceptively, offer users the chance to invest a large sum of money, with the promise of a big payout. It is often left out, intentionally, that the deal also has a very high chance of failing, and the user losing all the money instantly.
A spike in such cryptocurrency related advertising has been seen, given the Bitcoin boom that shook the world. Hence, the many deceptive Bitcoin related Google adverts attempted to capitalise on the trend.
But Google is saying no more come 1st May. Many critics are, however, muttering that it has taken Google a long time to respond to the obvious problem.
At the time that Google announced the ban on cryptocurrency ads, an annual report
Google reported that, overall, it removed a jaw dropping 3.2 billion adverts from the web in 2017. This is an enormous step up from the 1.7 billion in 2016. Of that total amount, 79 million adverts were pulled after being caught purposefully luring users to malicious websites. Websites that, in other words, are intent on infecting users with malware.
Some of the other statistics include Google blocking 12,000 websites for stealing content from other sites, as well as 7,000 customer accounts being banned for generating advertisements that were attempting to be mistaken for news articles.
These enormous numbers come as part of Google cracking down on the waves of misleading and malicious advertising that have been sweeping the web. If anything, the crackdown has not come soon enough, with complaints about questionable online practices being heard across the globe. Likely very few will miss deceptive cryptocurrency advertisements, and most will be saying good riddance to bad garbage.