Cannabis censorship on social media

De: Contributor Ativismo

For a very long time, having a strong presence on social media has been a gruelling job for the companies in the cannabis industry. The volatile community standards of the social media giants exercise total control over the brands, which limits their marketing capabilities. As the vast majority of these platforms censor marijuana-related content, these firms have no choice but to find other spaces where they can express themselves freely.

If you work in the cannabis sector, it’s no big secret that the development of marketing and publicity strategies has always been a real challenge. The legal, regulatory, and commercial state of marijuana is continuously changing, which in turn affects what brands can and cannot do to reach their potential customers. The management of these variables requires significant investment in terms of both time and money.

The main players of the digital social media (Google’s YouTube, Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, TikTok, Amazon, etc.) explicitly prohibit the advertising of “illicit and illegal substances”, including cannabis. And these giants make no exceptions, even if cannabis is legal in certain states or countries, as happens in the US.

Apart from paid adverts, they also restrict the type of content that appears on their platforms through the so-called ‘shadowbanning’, a type of censorship that essentially refers to when Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok restrict the publications of their followers and hide them, so that they don’t appear in the hashtags. This is usually done without informing the content creators, so they usually have no idea that the platform has blocked them from public view.

This limit of traffic that these companies have to endure reduces their potential for monetisation, as well as their ability to gain customers through publications and other types of content. But, above all, it stifles the educational opportunities for users.

For instance, an Instagram account with a ‘shadowban’ no longer appears in searches. Even users who are already following that account may start to notice that posts from it no longer appear in their feed. This means that the company that holds that account will start to lose its current reach, as well as any potential future presence.

Lack of rationale in the closing of accounts

Although this problem affects most cannabis companies, small and medium-sized businesses may feel it more, as they rely on social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, to reach their target audiences.

There are no predetermined guidelines for knowing your way around these ecosystems. The use guidelines are as unpredictable as they are absurd, and end up producing a great randomness in their own execution. This translates into countless examples of many different cannabis brands that have had campaigns blocked, content marked as inappropriate, accounts completely disabled, and sometimes even permanently closed.

One of the last cases is that of Barney’s Farm. This seed bank has just seen how Instagram has closed its official account (with no fewer than 160,000 followers), meaning that they now have to start over from scratch. Last year, something similar happened to Zamnesia and Royal Queen Seeds (200,000 followers), without any clear or obvious explanation from the social media companies to support the decision; and, what’s more, without any response to all the complaints filed by these seed banks.

There are countless examples of companies and influencers in the industry that have suffered this censorship themselves, which does nothing but lengthen the shadow of stigmatisation surrounding the cannabis plant. These include Kannabia Seed Company, whose official Instagram account (ES @kannabia_seeds) was cancelled last week without any explanation, to then be unblocked days later, again without any explanation whatsoever.

The solution lies in more cannabis-friendly platforms

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Since the Telegram chat service was born in 2013, it has really stood out above other messaging networks thanks to its high security and privacy levels, as well as its speed, which have turned it into an excellent option to share information on your favourite plant without fear of the dreaded censorship. With over 700 million active monthly users, the Telegram channels are a great platform for meeting people with the same hobbies: it is an excellent way to solve questions or to share general information through the different chatrooms.

In fact, the Telegram channels are the perfect tool to transmit messages to large audiences, and to share content with growers or clients. A Telegram channel can have an unlimited number of subscribers, and gives you the chance to invite other people, even if they’re not in your contact list. This allows the creation of a large community of people associated with the world of marijuana.

In addition, because Telegram is an ‘equal to equal’ app, the emphasis is mainly put on usernames rather than on phone numbers, as opposed to WhatsApp. Therefore, the risk of unleashing personal contact information remains restricted only to those usernames.

The Telegram channels are also optimised to host large communities, and they load quickly, even if you’ve missed lots of messages while you were out. They also provide administration tools which are more original and innovative than those of the older WhatsApp, for instance.

Introducing Kannabia’s Telegram channel

Faced with this censorship situation on social networks, Kannabia has decided to create a space in Telegram to talk openly about cannabis, offering information on self-cultivation as well as exclusive promos for our users. From today, the Kannabia community can subscribe to this new channel to receive all the latest news about our seed bank.

With this platform, Kannabia is expanding one of its distinguishing features: the direct communication with users, based on close contact and prioritised attention to cover the needs of self-growers from all around the world.

Kannabia’s Telegram will work in parallel with the other networks where the brand is already present, such as Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, and its content will bring you some great surprises. You will find uncensored information about self-cultivation and how to care for the cannabis plant, as well as consumption methods, effects, medical properties, and many other interesting topics. To top it all off, there will also be exclusive promotions, including product reservation, advance sales under special conditions, and the publication of discount codes for members only.

What’s more, we’re opening three different channels to diversify our presence on this platform, and to facilitate direct links with our international users: our subscribers will be able to choose between channels in Spanish, French, and English so they can be up to date with everything we have in store for them.

To access the different channels, just use the following links:

(If you’re not a Telegram user, you can download the app here).

Come and pay us a visit, we have the first surprise ready for you! And we’re absolutely sure you’re going to love it!

Kannabia Seeds Company sells to its customers a product collection, a souvenir. We cannot and we shall not give growing advice since our product is not intended for this purpose.

Kannabia accept no responsibility for any illegal use made by third parties of information published. The cultivation of cannabis for personal consumption is an activity subject to legal restrictions that vary from state to state. We recommend consultation of the legislation in force in your country of residence to avoid participation in any illegal activity.

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