Cannabis Companies Walk A Fine Line on Social Media

High Times

Cannabis reform may be progressing in America, but access on social media remains an uncertain landscape. While brands have thrived, reaching millions of followers and verified status, many others have been cut short, suspended and deleted along the way. Even those succeeding appear only to have a glimmer of an idea about what’s right and wrong when marketing cannabis. With so much uncertainty, brands proceed cautiously in a direction that may or may not be the correct path.  The Three Outcomes To Avoid: Deletions, Suspensions and Shadowbans Whether violating the rules or innocently caught up in the review system, accounts face severe punishments if accused of violating the terms of services. They include:  Total account deletionSuspension, lasting one to 90 days depending on the platform and violationShadowbanning  Each result is devastating, especially to a brand or company spending countless hours building up a following. The first two consequences are straightforward. Shadowbanning, on the other hand, is a bit more unclear. Much like how Yu-Gi-Oh!’s Shadow Realm is an alleged place of suffering, so is social media’s apparent shadowban realm. Instead of anime-purple smoke and monsters, social media accounts face a near-complete banishment from the site without losing their posting privileges.  In short, shadowbanned accounts remain in working order but essentially get removed from communal activity and engagement. While banned, few if any people will be able to see the offending account’s new posts, stories or other activity.  Brittany Hallett, VP of marketing at cannabis CPG brand SLANG Worldwide, elaborated, saying bans are a means of suppressing organic, unpaid-for reach. “Essentially, rather than turn an account off, the content posted on a page is suppressed, limiting the number of impressions you receive on that content,” she explained. Not confirmed by social media platforms, the existence of shadowbans has broadly been accepted,…

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