Is Pinterest Weed Friendly or Are They Shadow Banning Cannabis Companies?

Is Pinterest Weed Friendly or Are They Shadow Banning Cannabis Companies?

July 2, 2022 0 By Lissette Graham

cannabis pinterest

Social networks have always had a dicey relationship with allowing cannabis companies to promote their products on their platform. This has led to a series of issues and problems as some intentional shadow-ban marijuana companies on their platform. The focus of this article will be on Pinterest as a social network and its policies toward marijuana companies. We will also answer the question of whether Pinterest is shadow banning marijuana companies.

Mainstream social networks like Facebook and Twitter are known for their unsavory policies towards cannabis companies. These platforms are filled with different types of misinformation about the cannabis industry and its companies. It is therefore understandable that their policies do not welcome cannabis companies too. However, many cannabis companies seemed to find solace on a less stringent platform in Pinterest, or so it seemed,

Pinterest is a social network predominantly focused on lifestyle and has most of its users pining pictures and videos to allow for engagement from others. Though since 85% of its users are women, the network is usually filled with topics that are centered around baking, fashion, and decoration. Nonetheless, Pinterest is very effective as it rivaled Facebook as a sharing medium in 2013. Well, Pinterest has since evolved from where it started and has grown more diverse and eclectic. The presence of more men on the platform made room for more topics to be discussed and a different array of materials shared.

Creating awareness for cannabis products has always been a huge problem even outside the walls of social media. However, social media has always had a special appeal as it can easily provide access to the target customers. Organic content on social media has always been the golden gem for helping cannabis companies reach their audience. This is because, with the right keyword usage, a simple engine search will get the user to the product.

When it comes to effective marketing on social networks presently, it would seem that algorithms have taken the place of organic content. This has made most businesses go the way of paid advertising to be able to attract targeted customers. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help cannabis companies as they are still considered illegal according to federal laws. While it is true that these companies are legal in the states where they operate, it is still not enough.

The severity of the regulations around most social networks is such that it creates no room to breathe for most cannabis companies. Talking about weed is as much a violation as advertising it on some networks. Punishments such as having your account blocked or having your posts removed are common in such communities. This, therefore, creates a harsh condition that is almost insurmountable for most cannabis companies. However, it seems cannabis companies might have found room to wriggle away with the vague marijuana policy on Pinterest. This is why much attention is on whether Pinterest is shadow banning marijuana companies or not.

Different social networks have varying policies for controlled substances but we will be paying close attention to that of Pinterest. In its policies, the company states that it isn’t a place where regulated goods, products, and substances can be traded or sold. This also applies to products that can cause harm after they have been altered, used, or manufactured irresponsibly. The community also specifically states that it limits the distribution of and removes content that promotes commercial sales of marijuana products. Despite how straightforward this might seem, it is still very vague, and different parts are open to interpretation.

A number of cannabis companies believe these policies have ways in which they can be worked around and they are asking questions. Does sharing images of a cannabis leaf, cannabis product, or dispensary count as an offer or attempt to bypass regulations? Is an ancillary company that operates in a legal cannabis space in products like packaging or lighting going to be classified as paraphernalia? Is a company working in the hemp space going to be held to the same standards cannabis companies are being subjected to? These and many more are the questions cannabis companies are asking and believe are useful to stake their claim.

As regards whether Pinterest is shadow banning cannabis companies, the policies already speak for themselves. However, if the cannabis industry has learned anything, it’s that rules can be changed at any time and they are subjective. Shadow banning is a common method that social media platforms use in policing cannabis companies. It is also known by other terms such as comment ghosting, stealth banning, or ghost banning. It is a special tactic that ensures that new users do not find your site or page on a social network. However, it doesn’t keep your followers from finding your company.

The aim of shadow banning is to frustrate the owner of the site until he quits trying to get new followers. Since cannabis companies cannot pay for paid advertisement and organic content is not driving traffic, they will eventually get frustrated. Afterward, all that such companies can do is appeal bans and hope that the companies restore their visibility. What this means is that all power belongs to the social media networks on this. It is therefore important for cannabis companies to know how to thread the water while plying this path.

Since organic content is sure to be shadow banned and paid advertising cannot be done, cannabis companies can only rely on other means. The popular alternative will be to utilize influencer or affiliate marketing or using educational blog posts. Until federal prohibition changes, this is the reality that cannabis companies will have to face and live with. It is very much sure that mainstream advertisement will be impossible for cannabis companies for now. Therefore, cannabis companies will have to find new and innovative ways of making the most of what they have presently. 

 

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