Cryptocurrencies have long been the victim of unfair censorship by centralized tech giants like Facebook and Google. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have been playing a pivotal role in transforming modern-day industries for the better, but is shunned because of its ties with illicit activities.
Social networking giant Facebook is back yet again with a fresh censorship saga, this time targeting the hashtag ‘#Bitcoin’. Over the past few days, there have been reports that any post including #bitcoin in its description is being censored, irrespective of whether it is a Video, photograph, or even messages.
When a user enters the hashtag, the censorship screen pops up ensuring that the posts are “temporarily hidden” in order to keep the community safe, according to its policies.
The event has put Facebook under heavy criticism by the cryptocurrency community on Twitter. Jack Dorsey’s social network has been a major hub for crypto enthusiasts as the social network itself has a pro-bitcoin stance, with a dedicated hashtag for Bitcoin.
Surprisingly, #bitcoin seems to be the only target of this censorship saga as searches for other cryptocurrencies like #Ethereum, #Cardano, #ethereumclassic, etc. are still live. It must be noted that the search results for the term ‘Bitcoin’ without the ‘#’ remains active.
It seems that Facebook considers hashtags like #Drugs, #xans, #weapons, #counterfeit, #whitesupremacy, #Hamas, and #Isis, much safer than #bitcoin.
Facebook isn’t new to this game
This isn’t the first time Facebook has been down this road. Back in 2018, the social networking company updated its advertising policies to prohibit the promotion of anything related to cryptocurrencies and ICOs.
The company justified the move in a blog post, stating that this was a step to prevent harm to the interests of its users:
“We’ve created a new policy that prohibits ads that promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or disappointing promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings, and cryptocurrency.”
Crypto advertisements were allowed again after the company launched its own Libra stablecoin. “We’ve listened to feedback and assessed the policy’s effectiveness,” Facebook said in a statement.
However, the advertising ban resulted in a class-action lawsuit filed by law firm JPB Liberty earlier this year. The firm argued that the ban put a stop to the initial coin offering (ICO) market and caused financial damage to the wider cryptocurrency industry.
The lawsuit has managed to garner more than $700 million in claims from the crypto community and also targets Google for a similar ban.