Instagram vs. weed: The feud rages on
At MJBiz, Kate Robertson goes deep on what's going on with those deactivated Instagram accounts. While the cannabiz is hooked on the photosharing app, the love remains largely unrequited as brands routinely see their accounts deactivated or erased.
Instagram doesn't allow accounts to sell drugs or promote the sale of illegal drugs.
- The app can flag weed-related accounts for content violations, user complaints or for breaking its terms of service, even in cases where social media managers believe they have followed the rules. MJBiz, which doesn't sell drugs, had its account deleted in June but was able to recover it.
- "Considering Instagram has a billion monthly users, such disruptions can have mild to massive implications for marketers, from breaking the line of communication with clients and leads to undermining crucial targets, including revenue or event attendee numbers," Robertson writes.
While some believe Instagram is using increasingly sophisticated AI tools to detect cannabis-related content, others suspect that as the market heats up brands are ratting on their competitors.
- Losing an account has become so common that Canadian marketer Colin Bambury has put together a manual for what to do. Deactivations can be appealed but they aren't always successful.
“It is perfectly fine for a company to, for example, raise awareness or to talk about the societal implications of legalization, things like that,” an Instagram spokesman said. “That does not violate our rules.” But he acknowledged that its "automatic enforcement" doesn't always make the right call.
- “If we had clarity, we’d be shouting it from the rooftops,” Lisa Buffo, CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association said.