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Microsoft's Bing Ads Blocked 5 Mln Crypto-Related Ads In 2018

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Microsoft announced that its Bing Ads platform blocked more than 5 million ads containing cryptocurrency content in 2018.

In a blog post, the software giant said cryptocurrency as an asset class saw a bull run in 2018, increasing valuations multi-fold and inviting lots of demand.

But, Bing Ads decided to ban cryptocurrency content from its advertising platform as the lack of regulatory oversight, and the overall pseudo-anonymity built into currencies like bitcoin made cryptocurrency a prime target for fraudsters and scam artists.

Microsoft's advertising platform boosts digital interactions for businesses and helps connect people with relevant information. Digital advertising is incredibly powerful and open, but it is also prone to abuse by bad actors trying to defraud and deceive users by delivering harmful and misleading ads, it said.

In 2018, Bing Ads in total suspended nearly 200,000 accounts from its platform, twice the number in 2017. It also removed 900 million bad ads and 300,000 bad sites from the system.

The company, which has been focused on fighting tech scams, brought down more than 12,000 Bing Ads accounts that were perpetrating these scams, an increase of approximately 20% from last year. Bing Ads also weeded out more than 18 million ads and 5,000 websites related to advertising weapons whose primary purpose is violence.

In May last year, Bing had announced that it would ban cryptocurrency-related ads on its network by July 2018.

Search engine giant Google in June last year had banned cryptocurrency and related ads, aiming to restrict the marketing of high-risk financial products. However, the company later lifted the ban, allowing regulated cryptocurrency exchanges to advertise in the United States and Japan.

Facebook, which had banned crypto ads once, reversed it later, allowing ads on digital currencies with pre-approval and asked the interested advertisers to fill out an application to assess their eligibility. However, the prohibition on ads related to initial coin offerings or binary options continue.

In December last year, the French financial markets regulator blacklisted some cryptocurrency websites in its efforts to block crypto firms with unauthorized investment offerings. The regulator earlier had warned investors about 15 crypto-asset websites that continue to mislead the public on investment opportunities, by advertising and marketing despite the warning on new regulations.

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