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Instagram Gets Trigger Happy with Marijuana Related Content

Daily Dot
In case you hadn't heard, marijuana is becoming more widely legal, medicinally and for recreation, across the United States and many other parts of the world. Though it's not without controversy, the global view on the psychotropic herb is gradually beginning to soften, for a number of reasons. It's a strange thing to see a previously illegal substance gradually settle into a more commercial context, as advertisers, advocates and others struggle to figure out the best promotional and market strategies. I've got one for you right off the bat: avoid Instagram.


Without offering any kind of formulated explanation, Instagram have started routinely suspending, or even deleting any accounts which relate to marijuana dispensaries. There doesn't seem to be any particular rule of thumb with it, as some promotional pages have gotten away unscathed, as well as casual users who might snap themselves with spliff in hand from time to time, but elsewhere some of the most prominent weed advocates on social media have had their accounts taken down once or even several times over, with only a vague terms of use violation cited as the reason.

It would be fair to assume that anything you can do legally in your home state/nation, you should be able to post about online, otherwise every image of people drinking, kissing in public or wearing revealing outfits would also result in account suspension. Facebook have made no such effort to curtail images of marijuana users using marijuana, which given that Instagram is owned by Facebook, makes the whole thing even more perplexing. Instagram is far from the most weed flooded social network in the game (that would be Tumblr), but its popularity means that a lot of people at the forefront of the marijuana legalisation movement are keen to make good use of it.

The platform's terms of use does reference promotion of recreational use of legal or illegal substances as a violation, but that doesn't account for medicinal use, which is what many of the dispensaries who have had their storefront accounts deleted deal in. It might just be a semantics thing, or there might be something bigger going on. Apple have been similarly resilient against the movement, deleting swathes of weed-related apps from the app store. It probably comes down to a growing pains issue, which will evaporate over time, but for the moment it seems like the legality of weed isn't quite enough to take the stigma off of it in the eyes of some influential figures.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Instagram Gets Trigger Happy with Marijuana Related Content Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 Rating: 5

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