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US: Google to bans cryptocurrency ads

 |  March 14, 2018

Alphabet’s Google has decided not to run any ads for cryptocurrencies as part of its efforts to clamp down on advertisements that run afoul of its policies.

First spotted by Reuters in a post, the company said the new policy kicks off in June and bans ads for things like binary options, cryptocurrencies and related content and financial spread betting, among other things. The move comes as cryptocurrencies have garnered a lot of attention, even with regular investors. With wild price swings, governments around the world have been warning about the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies.

Separately, Scott Spencer—Director of Sustainable Ads at Google, said in blog post that in 2017, the company removed more than 3.2 billion ads that violated its advertising policies, amounting to more than 100 bad ads per second. “This means we’re able to block the majority of bad ad experiences, like malvertising and phishing scams, before the scams impact people,” wrote Spencer. “We blocked 79 million ads in our network for attempting to send people to malware-laden sites and removed 400,000 of these unsafe sites last year. And, we removed 66 million ‘trick-to-click’ ads as well as 48 million ads that were attempting to get users to install unwanted software.”

What’s more, Spencer said that last year Google removed 320,000 publishers from its ad network for violating publisher policies and blacklisted close to 90,000 websites and 700,000 mobile apps. He said the company also rolled out technology that helps protect advertisers by removing Google ads from individual pages on websites that violate its policies and as a result were able to remove 2 million pages each month. Spencer noted that after Google expanded its content policy in April, it removed Google ads from 8,700 pages. “We’re constantly updating our policies as we see new threats emerge. Last year, we added 28 new advertiser policies and 20 new publisher policies to combat new threats and improve the ads experience online. This year, we updated several policies to address ads in unregulated or speculative financial products like binary options, cryptocurrency, foreign exchange markets and contracts for difference (or CFDs),” wrote Spencer. “We also updated our gambling ads policies to address new methods of gambling with items that have real-world value (e.g., skins gambling). And we will introduce a new certification process for rehabilitation facilities, allowing legitimate addiction treatment centers to connect with people in need. Our work to protect the ads ecosystem doesn’t stop here—it’s ongoing.”

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