Facebook has started shutting down marijuana pages. Reportedly, around a dozen cannabis businesses across 6 states of the US have experienced sudden shut down of their Facebook pages within a span of a few weeks. The move has left them completely baffled.
Because of this sudden move some of the state-approved legal cannabis dispensaries have remained unpublished. Facebook reported that failure of following terms as others have violated the community standard is the cause behind the decision, reported MMJ Observer. However, some of the businesses which are completely legal and have operated for many years complained that they have not received any notification from the social networking site stating that they have violated any policies.
Mary’s Medicinals is one such company, which is a cannabis products manufacturer in Denver, Colorado. The company produces marijuana skin patches, supplements and topical gels. Its business development manager Graham Sorkin said that their Facebook page was shut down without any notification at the end of January, confirmed BBC. He expressed his confusion regarding the closure.
He commented, “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.”
Facebook is used by people around the world and although, marijuana is legal in some places, it is not legal for all. Besides, the social networking site has “community standards” which users agree to maintain when they sign up for the site. These “Community standards” also tend to take global position especially when it comes to issues like promotion of drugs.
The official statement by the social networking site reads, “In order to maintain a safe environment on Facebook, we have a 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.”
However it has been found that some companies, whose Facebook pages were previously shut down, have removed contents that breach the guidelines and their pages had been restored later.
The inconsistency mainly is caused, as the social networking platform relies on its user to report pages that violate “community standard”. Kaiser Wahab, an attorney representing legal cannabis businesses in dealing with Facebook, observes that reviewing of the social networking site’s pages is not an automated process. Thus, people will defer in their opinions on what should be taken down.
Incidentally, the social networking site is an addiction to many and is a very powerful medium.