Facebook is shadow banning cannabis related pages, groups and content

Have you logged into Facebook recently and tried to search for a cannabis related page, person or group? If you have you may have noticed that Facebook now returns 0 results. Facebook has been essentially shadow banning all cannabis/marijuana related pages.

No this isn’t a mistake or some kind of bug with Facebook. They are now taking an active role in preventing anyone from finding these types of pages. Facebook is not removing the pages (yet) but many get the feeling a cannabis content purge is well on the way.

As of now you can still visit cannabis related pages and groups if you know the direct URL. They do still exist but they are now much harder to find.  Without knowing the actual page/group URL chances are you won’t be able to find the page you are looking for.

There are many pages on Facebook that have the word “marijuana” or “cannabis” in the name. Such as activist organizations, media outlets, and government agencies. All of these pages have also been ‘shadow banned’. This shadow ban went so far as to block searches for the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (just one example).

Newer cannabis based pages are finding it more and more difficult to grow and build their audience due to these actions and many are abandoning Facebook all together. Which is understandable as Facebook offers very very little value for such pages on it’s platform now. Legal cannabis businesses, organizations and websites must start to find new avenues for promoting their content and for building their audience. Not only do cannabis related search terms bring 0 results but Facebook does not allow existing cannabis pages and posts to be promoted or boosted.

Users have begun to turn to other dedicated social networks to promote their cannabis related content and grow their audience. Dedicated social networks such as Medical Marijuana Program Connection which is a dedicated social network for the medical marijuana community / industry. However these social networks don’t have nearly the reach that platforms such as Facebook does.

 

With many states in the U.S now having medical and or recreational laws and Canada on the horizon of legalizing nationwide should Facebook be taking such a hard stance against legal cannabis businesses and organizations?  Have you been affected by this? We would love to know your thoughts in the comments section below.