According to George Orwells ’1984′, Big Brother is watching you. But we all know that right? And we aren’t doing anything wrong, right? So why is it that in the USA, the Facebook pages of those working in the Cannabis industry are being shut down?
As we all know by now, Cannabis is now legal in 23 states and some states have even legalised cannabis for both recreational and medicinal purposes. The businesses that operate in these states are legal and authorised as far as their connection with cannabis goes, so it seems a little weid that in the past few weeks, Facebooks pages of theirs have been disabled. Mary’s Medicinals, a Denver based company that produces cannabis and related goods such as topical creams and skin patches, had their Facebook Page disabled in late January according to Business development manager Graham Sorkin. Marys Medicinals is a legal and authorised company so it doesn’t make much sense as to why the page was closed down. Mr Sorkin says he would like to know why exactly his company’s page was disabled but says that in his view he has not received a satisfactory answer from Facebook. “If it was a competitor that flagged our page just because they didn’t like that we had more followers than them, I would like an explanation. If there’s a post that we put up that there was an issue with I’d love for them to be able to just point to it and say ‘hey you shared this, this broke our policy.’ But they have not responded in any way to my requests.” Mary’s Medicinals was advertising their page as ‘Information’ only and that no rules were being broken. “Nobody at Facebook had noticed our page or flagged it for being something that potentially violates their policies…we’re licensed by the state of Colorado and state of Washington to make these products,” he said.The theory behind these disablements is that although the Marijuana industry is legal in some states, in most it isn’t so it is having a rule for one and a rule for others, putting companies such as Facebook into a conundrum. This means that they could potentially be inadvertantly advertising illegal drugs.
The BBC contacted Facebook and they issued a statement:
“In order to maintain a safe environment on Facebook, we have Community Standards that describe what is and is not allowed on the service. Anyone can report content to us if they think it violates our standards. Our teams review these reports rapidly and will remove the content if there is a violation.”
It’s a tricky one for business owners as the point of them usuingmedia such a Facebook s to publicise what they do, so erasing thigs like images from their Facebook Page is a little insane as the while point of them using Facebook is to show people what they offer.
It seems sad that even after campaigners have been fighting tirelessly to leglaise and curb the ‘War on Drugs’ (yes, its thats phrase again!) that there are still pointless and somewhat stupid barriers in the way such as these.