Meet Gavin Sheridan, CEO at Vizlegal and the man who tipped Facebook off to bitcoin ad phishing scams.
“Overall, the potential for people being scammed is enormous — and my issue was that Facebook was facilitating this possibility by accepting the ads in the first place, and indeed by receiving money to display the ads,” Sheridan told CBS News.
Sheridan says he began noticing the shady cryptocurrency ads on social media about a year ago, but it wasn’t until a recent twitter thread turned into a discussion with Rob Leathern, product management director at Facebook, that his voice was heard.
— Gavin Sheridan (@gavinsblog) January 14, 2018
“This policy is in response to the many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith, and is part of an ongoing effort to improve the integrity and security of our ads,” a Facebook spokesperson told CBS News when asked how much Sheridan’s comments had to do with the desicion.
Credit to @robleathern at Facebook for the announcement today that they are broadly banning crypto/ICO/binary trading ads. He engaged with my thread below two weeks ago, and was both honest and receptive. https://t.co/TNKIhw6kZG
— Gavin Sheridan (@gavinsblog) January 30, 2018
Shady cryptocurrency ads appearing on Facebook was certainly an issue, but crypto proponents argue that simply vetting the ads more effectively could have made this a non-issue.
No word on whether or not Facebook will allow ads promoting cryptocurrency products and services in the future.