A lawsuit against Facebook was filed regarding the social media network’s anti-cannabis policies.
The plaintiff, Felicia Palmer, founded Cannaramic Media Inc. to promote cannabis education online. She’s also the founder of SOHH.com, the world’s “longest running hip-hop news website,” according to Javier Hasse at Forbes.
Palmer is being represented pro-bono by David C. Holland, an attorney with NORML.
The suit alleges that Facebook Inc., which owns Facebook and Instagram, has demonstrated a “pattern of censorship and suppression of information” regarding “legal uses of cannabis.”
Facebook took down Palmer’s social media accounts after she paid the site for ads promoting her Cannaramic Online Summit, a series of educational courses that would introduce others to safe and effective methods for consuming the plant.
The suit also alleges that Palmer only started the Facebook ad campaign after the website “induced” her buy into the network’s paid-for-advertisements program, likely by offering a cash discount for trying the service.
“When a private company like Facebook (our largest resource for communication) prohibits the flow of this type of information, it essentially amounts to a threat to the public health, social welfare, and economic vitality of our communities,” Holland told Forbes.
As marijuana legalization has swept the nation (and the world), Facebook continues to treat cannabis like other illicit street drugs. Pages that represent licensed cannabis companies, social media influencers, and educational programs have been temporarily blocked or permanently deleted by admins for violating the company’s terms of service. However, even accounts that do not promote cannabis use, such as those for social equity and expungement programs, have been blocked or deleted, as well.
Free speech rights – and what constitutes free speech – burns at the center of the Facebook controversy. After sweeping account deletions for alt-right rabble rousers and independent media outlets, Facebook and other social media companies have been accused of curtailing free speech.
Earlier this year, Facebook officials claimed the company would review and possibly revise its anti-cannabis policies in light of over 30 US states reforming marijuana laws for medical or recreational use, but the purges have continued.
A few weeks ago, a company rep bragged that Facebook’s new AI could distinguish broccoli from marijuana buds, because even posting photos of your (non-infused) lunch can get you banned these days, apparently.
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