MailChimp Bans Cryptocurrency Advertising In Emails

MailChimp roiled the cryptocurrency world late yesterday by banning email ads for the online currency.  

In its new acceptable use policy, the email provider says, “we cannot allow businesses involved in any aspect of the sale, transaction, exchange, storage, marketing or production of cryptocurrencies, virtual currencies, and any digital assets related to an Initial Coin Offering, to use MailChimp to facilitate or support any of those activities.”

That provision, included several paragraphs down in the policy, was quickly pounced on by people in the field.

“Consider this a shot across the bow of the entire ICO and blockchain-related sector,” Futurism writes.

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The penalty? MailChimp states, of all the provisions: “If you violate this policy, we may suspend or terminate your account.”

A spokesperson confirmed the policy, and sent this statement: 

"We have updated our Acceptable Use Policy to state that we do not allow businesses involved in any aspect of the sale, transaction, exchange, storage, marketing, or production of cryptocurrencies, virtual currencies, and any digital assets related to an Initial Coin Offering, to use MailChimp to facilitate or support any of those activities.

"We recognize that blockchain technology is in its infancy and has tremendous potential. Nonetheless, the promotion and exchange of cryptocurrencies is too frequently associated with scams, fraud, phishing, and potentially misleading business practices at this time. We made this decision to update our Acceptable Use Policy in order to protect the millions of businesses that use MailChimp for their marketing. We regularly review our policies as well as industry trends, and we will update our customers if anything changes.
 
"It’s important to note that this update to our policy does not prevent the discussion of related topics in messages sent through our platform. For example, journalists and publications may send cryptocurrency-related information as long as they’re not involved in the production, sale, exchange, storage, or marketing of cryptocurrencies."

In a tweet, a writer called Pomp says: "These incumbent organizations don’t realize their censorship actually helps crypto more than it hurts. People are energized to remove power from centralized authorities. Censorship shows true colors."

MailChimp replied that cryptocurrency-related information isn’t necessarily prohibited. It can be sent as long as the sender isn’t involved in the production, sale, exchange, storage, or marketing of cryptocurrencies."

Pomp countered, "You’re trying to defend censorship with semantics. What is the difference between marketing and news? Who decides?"

According to Futurism, in an email sent to users on Thursday, MailChimp said: "The promotion and exchange of cryptocurrencies is too frequently associated with scams, fraud, phishing, and potentially misleading business practices at this time."

But MailChimp added that journalists and others may use the terms. 

Futurism comments: "In other words: If you’re making money on an ICO or blockchain, you won’t be doing it on MailChimp. But talking about blockchain or ICOs? Totally fine."

The move seems to be part of a trend in which service providers are trying to control what goes through their portals. In banning cryptocurrency ads, MailChimp reportedly is joining Facebook, Twitter and Google.

And, as Email Insider discussed yesterday, Microsoft is taking a tough line against pornography. And other organizations are trying to squelch hate-related content.

MailChimp’s policy also prohibits pornography/sexually explicit content, emails offering to sell illegal goods or services and emails that violate CAN-SPAM laws. The new policy reportedly takes effect on April 30. 

 

 

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