I love Instagram but loathe their inconsistency on cannabis accounts. The tech giant deletes legal pages daily, with little to no communication regarding why. It’s safe to say Instagram ignores cannabis rights.
Instagram first deleted a client account in September 2016. I tapped an internal contact at Facebook to file an appeal. She did so, and a few weeks later the page magically reappeared. According to our source, Instagram “deactivated the page in error” and apologized.
The excitement didn’t last long. Several weeks later, Instagram took the page down yet again. This time for good. Our internal contact filed yet another appeal. This time Instagram refused to reactivate the page. According to the company, our “profile includes a link to a website that contains information about the sale of marijuana.”
I. KID. YOU. NOT.
Over 21,000 followers deleted. Poof! Just like that. At the hand of an Instagram employee most likely outsourced to a country where weed is criminalized.
I helped the aforementioned client rebuild their account to 4,000 followers. We averaged over 1,000 likes per week on at least one post. Needless to say, we beat Instagram’s algorithm and came back with a vengeance.
Again, it didn’t last long. Our account came down a month later. This time Instagram didn’t provide an explanation. I filed numerous appeals to no avail. The end result? This photo and a rant on my personal page.
Additionally, Instagram’s enforcement is inconsistent. One retail client’s account got deleted before they could make their first post. Even more frustrating, other producers link to retailers without any ramification.
How can a billion dollar company take down a legal business page, then (maybe) reply weeks later it was a mistake? Instagram ignores cannabis rights. With over 600 million monthly active users, it’s time for the company to end its war on weed and let us grow!