You could be forgiven for thinking that Twitter is a bear-pit; it certainly seems that way at times. Trolls have been able to declare open-season on celebrities and ordinary members of the public without much fear of a permanent ban for some time. However, the platform seems to be undergoing something of a clean-up. Extreme political organisations and individuals advocating hate speech (and in some cases, hate crime) have had their accounts closed permanently, and there’s an air of nipping fake news in the bud right across the social media spectrum.
That has spread to products and services as well as ideology and following on from other social media platforms including Google and Facebook, Twitter has banned all cryptocurrency advertising on the platform, including ICOs and token sales. Wallets aren’t exempt either; if they’re not listed on a stock market, they’re banned too.
What does this mean for me?
If you follow several trading accounts and investment gurus, you might find they either restrict themselves to crypto news reporting by posting news links from legitimate sources, or disappear altogether, depending on their main function. Conversations offering advice on investment are likely to be subject to moderation, and persistent attempts to discuss investment and offer advice are likely to result in a permanent ban.
What about other social media? You mentioned Google and Facebook
They’re clamping down too. Google has stated that any cryptocurrency connected organisations or individuals will have to be licensed by their local financial authorities (so, in the case of the UK, the FCA), and any landing pages will have to fall strictly into line with AdWords rules and regulations. Facebook is famously trying to remove fake news, and product management director Rob Leathern has said “we want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception”. If you have a Facebook account and an interest in cryptocurrency, this is no bad thing; like this writer, you’ve probably reported several ads in the past few months which were designed to suck in the unwary.
So are they against cryptocurrencies?
Not necessarily. What social media platforms are very aware of in the wake of recent scandal is perpetuating anything which is not only fake, but has a hidden agenda. Fans and subscribers of Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert site will probably have seen the banner alerting readers to the fact that ads on Facebook claiming he endorses a particular crypto investment are designed to scam. Twitter in turn is committed to shutting accounts which are “engaging with others in a deceptive manner.”
Additionally, Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, is such a cryptocurrency fan that he is of the opinion that “the world will ultimately have a single currency…I personally believe that it will be Bitcoin” (The Times, 2018).
In summary, the Cambridge Analytica scandal could turn out to be a very good thing; social media is still in its infancy, and the possibility of it being a reliable source of news and information in the future as a result of action taken now is exciting.