Bitcoin is censorship-resistant… The hashtag #Bitcoin is not.
Over the past days, Facebook has been busy censoring all posts that include the #Bitcoin hashtag in the description. There are no distinctions: Videos, photographs, and even messages have been censored, blocking the public from accessing any information related to the cryptocurrency.
Upon entering the hashtag, users in different parts of the world are confronted with a censorship screen in which Facebook ensures that posts are “temporarily hidden” in order to keep the community safe, according to its policies.
Several users went on Twitter (where it is possible to talk about Bitcoin) to denounce the ban. Twitter, unlike Facebook, has a pro-bitcoin point of view. Not only it allows the hashtag, but the cryptocurrency also has its own emoji. Its CEO, Jack Dorsey, has talked about Bitcoin on numerous occasions, saying it will play a significant role in the future of finance.
🚨 Bitcoin censored on Facebook!
I was searching for #Bitcoin content on Facebook and apparently that hashtag is under a “temporary” ban.
This is outrageous 😡 Please retweet! pic.twitter.com/w4MY5GD5Y1
— The Moon 🌙 (@TheMoonCarl) October 31, 2020
Beware of #Bitcoin!
It seems that Bitcoin is the most dangerous cryptocurrency in the ecosystem because Facebook is allowing searches for any other altcoin like #Ethereum, #Cardano, #ethereumclassic, etc. and other safer projects (note the sarcasm) like #onecoin #hex and a popular Latin American alleged scam operating under the brand name #auricoin.
Some other hashtags that Facebook considers to be safer than #Bitcoin are: #Drugs, #xans, #weapons, #counterfeit, #whitesupremacy, #Hamas and #Isis.
While the hashtag is a big no-no for Facebook, the search results for “Bitcoin” —without the hashtag— are entirely normal and have not been censored by the social media behemoth.
Facebook Swings Back and Forth With Its Bitcoin Policies
This isn’t the first time that Facebook has censored Bitcoin-related content. In early 2018, Mark Zuckerberg’s company decided to change its policies to expressly prohibit any advertisements promoting the trading of cryptocurrencies and other ICOs.
In an official post blog, the company described cryptocurrencies as products that could harm its users’ interests. They assured that the policy would be broad until they were able to refine the censorship mechanisms applied to this type of ads:
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.
However, Facebook came to its senses and allowed the crypto ads again… that is when it decided to launch its own cryptocurrency, Libra. “We’ve listened to feedback and assessed the policy’s effectiveness,” the corporation said in a statement.
Facebook has not issued any official statement to clarify whether this change of heart has anything to do with the fact that Libra is almost dead, and there is no need to continue supporting the world’s largest cryptocurrency.