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Facebook Lifts Ban On Marijuana

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Facebook has announced that it will repeal its ban on marijuana and related search results, according to MarketWatch. This decision comes just days before the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada, on October 17.

Facebook attributes the ban to its users selling pot on the social media platform, in violation of its terms of use. Facebook’s global community will now be able to locate and look up marijuana – related pages using the search feature.

“This is a change in our tactics when it comes to what is discoverable when using Facebook Search. Our Community Standards make it very clear that buying, selling or trading non-medical, pharmaceutical drugs, or marijuana is not allowed on Facebook. People largely find this content that violates our policies by searching for it, so we have made it harder for people to find content that facilitates the sale of drugs on our site. We also look to make content that does not violate our policies discoverable in Search. We use a combination of the latest technology in search ranking and our team of reviewers who work 24/7 to minimize the opportunity for illicit drug sales. We’re constantly auditing and improving this process in order to do better. What we’ve done now is also make pages that are verified for authenticity available in those Search results as well”  – Facebook spokeswoman Sarah Pollack relayed via email to Forbes.

Facebook has assigned color-coded designations that signal various enterprises. Gray confirmation is for businesses and organizations not eligible for the blue verification reserved for brands, celebrities and media companies.

The social media site will vet companies by requesting their phone numbers, which Facebook will subsequently verify by providing a four-digit code which the company, in turn, must ascertain. This automated verification method is similar to how Google authenticates app downloads on users’ mobile phones.

“Facebook’s policy change is reflecting the reality that marijuana is already legal in nine states, Washington D.C. and will be legal in Canada next week. I realize its hard for some of these companies to adjust to the new reality. Facebook is experiencing what all institutions are going through —transitioning from when marijuana use was a crime to it being a legitimate enterprise. It isn’t reefer madness anymore,” said attorney Keith Stroup,Founder of  NORML.

Perhaps now that Facebook has decided to relinquish its restrictive stance on marijuana, other social media behemoths will follow suit.

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Source : FORBES

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