As the legalization of cannabis comes to Canada this week, Facebook has ended its “shadow ban” of cannabis-themed pages. Last week the social media platform announced the changes, which became effective on October 11. Prior to that time, search results were filtered to exclude pages with words such as “cannabis” and “marijuana” in the title. Even pages for government regulators like California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control were affected by the ban. Additionally, many cannabis pages were deleted without warning by Facebook.
Sarah Pollack, a spokeswoman for Facebook, told MarketWatch via email that the new policy will allow cannabis pages for legitimate businesses and organizations while minimizing illegal drug sales.
“We are constantly working to improve our search results so that we minimize the opportunity for people to attempt illicit drug sales while showing content that is allowed on Facebook and is relevant to what you are searching,” Pollack said. “When searching ‘cannabis’ or ‘marijuana,’ Pages that have been verified for authenticity will now be included in search results.”
New Verification Process
Pollack said that cannabis organizations and businesses who complete a verification process will now be included in results of searches of those words. The company will continue to monitor the