Ahead of Cannabis Legalization in Canada, Facebook Lifts Ban on Weed Pages

As the legalization of hashish involves Canada this week, Facebook has ended its “shadow ban” of cannabis-themed pages. Last week the social media platform introduced the modifications, which turned efficient on October 11. Prior to that point, search outcomes have been filtered to exclude pages with phrases comparable to “cannabis” and “marijuana” in the title. Even pages for presidency regulators like California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control have been affected by the ban. Additionally, many hashish pages have been deleted with out warning by Facebook.

Sarah Pollack, a spokeswoman for Facebook, advised MarketWatch by way of e mail that the brand new coverage will permit hashish pages for respectable companies and organizations whereas minimizing unlawful drug gross sales.

“We are constantly working to improve our search results so that we minimize the opportunity for people to attempt illicit drug sales while showing content that is allowed on Facebook and is relevant to what you are searching,” Pollack stated. “When searching ‘cannabis’ or ‘marijuana,’ Pages that have been verified for authenticity will now be included in search results.”

New Verification Process

Pollack stated that hashish organizations and companies who full a verification course of will now be included in outcomes of searches of these phrases. The firm will proceed to watch the platform to make sure it isn’t used for unlawful gross sales of hashish and different medicine.

“This is a change in our tactics when it comes to what is discoverable when using Facebook Search. Our Community Standards make it very clear that buying, selling or trading non-medical, pharmaceutical drugs, or marijuana is not allowed on Facebook,” Pollack stated to Forbes. “People largely find this content that violates our policies by searching for it, so we have made it harder for people to find content that facilitates the sale of drugs on our site. We also look to make content that does not violate our policies discoverable in Search. We use a combination of the latest technology in search ranking and our team of reviewers who work 24/7 to minimize the opportunity for illicit drug sales. We’re constantly auditing and improving this process in order to do better.”

Social Media Struggles

Jacqueline McGowan is the director of native licensing and enterprise improvement for Okay Street Consulting, a Sacramento based mostly lobbying agency. She created a personal Facebook group to trace hashish regulation in California in 2016, however deliberately neglected any reference to marijuana in the identify. McGowan informed High Times by way of electronic mail that Facebook’s new coverage is an enormous change for the business.

“Cannabis companies have struggled to keep their social media platforms alive for years,” McGowan stated. “I’ve watched as countless pages and endless content have been deleted; and I knew from the inception of my group, that I needed to protect it from becoming obsolete. As a first consideration, not having the words marijuana or cannabis in my group’s title was much more important to its potential survival, than to boast that we track cannabis regulations. Survival became a much more vital goal and I have been able to maintain the group thus far, because of it. Now that Facebook has retreated from its restrictive stance on cannabis, we are becoming less handcuffed in our ability to inform, educate, and market to our audience.”


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