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Facebook Bans Ads for Cryptocurrency, Make News More Local

Facebook in an effort to fight scams has created a new policy which effecitvely bans ads related to cryptocurrency, as well prohibits ads for all “financial products and services frequently associated to misleading or deceptive promotional practices,” such as binary options and initial coin offerings.

The reason for this new policy, as Facebook says, is to honor one of its core advertising principles that ads should be safe. The new policy reads, “Ads must not promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings, or cryptocurrency.”

Facebook hinted it also may modify this new policy to allow bona fide crypto-related businesses to advertise again some time later. “We want people to continue to discover….about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception.”

“We will revisit this policy and how we enforce it as our signals improve,” the company said.

Further, acknowledging it may not able to catch every ad under this policy, the company encourage “people to report any ad on Facebook by clicking on the upper right-hand corner of the ad.”

New Facebook Ads Policy

Some examples of prohibited ads, include:

  • “Start binary options trading now and receive a 10-risk free trades bonus!”
  • “Click here to learn more about our no-risk cryptocurrency that enables instant payments to anyone in the world.”
  • “New ICO! Buy tokens at a 15% discount NOW!”
  • “Use your retirement funds to buy Bitcoin!”

Not just the news sites but for any website in the latest update to News Feed, Facebook has now begun prioritizing local news, so that people can see topics that help them discover what’s happening in their local area.

To start with the change is now taking effect starting in the US. Facebook plans to expand it to more countries later in the year.

With today’s update, a news content might show up higher in News Feed—”if a story is published from a local new publisher in followers geographic areas, or either they follow publisher’s Page, or a friend shares a story from that outlet,” says Facebook.

As always, people can use “See First” feature to choose news sources, including local or national publications to see at the top of their feed.

According to Facebook it looks at the following signals for News Feed ranking, including:

The domain can be local and a source of news. According to Facebook, a domain is considered as local, when either a business attracts readers from a specific geographic area, or theri site indicates of their living in the same geographic area.

“To determine if a domain is local to you, we look at where its readers on Facebook come form. If you live in the same area as the majority of those people, it is considered local to you,” said Facebook.

  • If you follow a page of a business that is local to you
  • Friends of those who share a local URL may see those stories higher in their news feeds

And, because the focus is now on high-quality news and meaningful social interactions, the amount of news in feed may go down. That said, the company notes, it may benefit small local news outlets more than large publishers, because of their concentrated readership in one location. But, “there are no constraints on which publishers are eligible.”

Facebook also stated that there are no constraints on the kind of sites’ eligiblity as the focus is primarily on the sites’ focusing on a specific locality and producing more quality local news that people and their community are interested in.

Facebook also posted an infographic that highlights the sites that may rank higher in feed, including: Local News, Local Sports Websites, Neighborhood Blogs. See the infographic below:

Facebook News Feed Infographic

Publishers and businesses are recommended to visit News Feed Publisher Guidelines for more information, as it suggests:

  • Your geographic location
  • Type of content (live videos being especially more engaging)
  • Engagement signals (likes, comments and shares)

In addition, “Today In” a new dedicated section in test in the US citites will connect people to news and information in their local community. It will expand to other parts of the world in the coming months.

During its quaterly financial results meet, Wednesday, the company responding to Wall Street’s concern “if people will still spend as much time on the site” after its news feed overhaul said, “No, people will not spend as much time on the site, but don’t worry the changes will ultimately benefit its business.”

Zuchkerberg said, “users over all reduced the time spent by roughly 50 million hours a day, which translates to about two minutes a day for each of its 1.4 billion daily users.” Adding he said, these were just fluctations due to recent changes. Overall he said, the total number of montly users are jumped 14 pecent to 2.13 billion in the fourth quarter.

As part of Data Privacy Day, the company also introduced a new education campaign as well as its plan to make core privacy settings easier to find, while also shared their privacy principles.

The new education campaign aims to help people understand how data is used on Facebook and how it can be manage.

In addition, resources to help organizations build privacy into their services are also currently under devekoplment.

Take Control of Your Data on Facebook

Towards this, the company is introducing new educational videos in News Feed that helps finding important privacy topics, like [how to control what information Facebook uses to show ads, how to review and delete old posts, and even what it means to delete your account.]

People are also invited to take Privacy Checkup and sharing privacy tips in education campaigns off Facebook, including ads on other websites.

Facebook notes, it plans to refresh education campaigns throughout the year for tips on different topics.

Privacy Settings Now Easier to Find

A new privacy center with core privacy settings slated to release this year is designed on feedback from people, policymakers and privacy experts around the world.

Lastly, Facebook also has shared for the firt time their Privacy Principles, you can read over here.

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