Now, let me preface all this by saying, we do not hate YouTube, Facebook or Twitter and we hold nothing against them. That said, what they're doing is wrong. And no, I am not talking about the obscene over-use of emojis. I am talking about social media censorship. Look, I get it, you don't want your social media platform turned into a drug-dealing den and that is perfectly understandable if we're talking about things like cocaine, meth or crack, which are illegal and dangerous. Cannabis, on the other hand, is now legal in some parts and it's not dangerous. Besides, that is what you have community guidelines and rules for. Trampling everyone's freedom of speech because you suspect a few are misbehaving is just plain-awful.
Case in point, if you are coming from Instagram, you'll notice that Mr. Instagram there, in the cartoon illustration posted to Instagram (right of the picture) is not wearing the multi-colored Polaroid camera head. Instead there's a baby-blue Twitter logo head in its place and that's for a good reason. Our Instagram had been deleted in the past with no explanation other than a vague "You've done something wrong", so we know we're not making this up. This is an ongoing problem with Cannabis brands on these social platforms, even in states (or countries) where Cannabis is legal. And the social media censorship goes beyond that. On Instagram, for example, certain tags such as #Weed or #weedstagram are black-listed and using too many of a certain kind can lead to your profile being shadow-banned, which means that your posts won't be shown to anyone and you'd essentially be posting for no one. Your account can also be deleted altogether with no warning or explanation. They simply shut down accounts left and right, like I said, for no good reason other than being a Cannabis business or simply Cannabis-related. And I understand the company's right to decline service to anyone, but at least we're owed a valid explanation. We pour our time, money and energy into these social media sites, to build and grow a community. Knowing at least what we did wrong would be nice. Otherwise we'd just keep making the same mistakes over and over without even knowing it. We're good people after all, we want to do right. Therefore getting a simple warning would suffice to get most of us on the right path.
On the other hand, this is just bad for the business. If people found out their account can be randomly deleted for some misunderstanding, why would they invest their time, money and energy into it? Wouldn't it make more sense to use a different site? And this is what many Cannabusinesses are doing; Turning to alternatives such as SnapChat and TheWeedTube.com, driving a lot of the users away from the original sites to avoid their social media censorship. And it may seem insignificant right now, but back then Facebook didn't seem like much of a threat to MySpace and look how that panned out. Just saying...
And here's what you can do to avoid a shadow ban on Instagram:
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