Shadow Banning isn’t only for politics and cryptocurrency anymore – Facebook and Instagram are still avidly using the technique to attack the burgeoning cannabis community. The app founded to enable freedom of expression and the exchange of any canna-centric information among its ‘users’, PotSmoking.com, represents a big step forward in solving this problem.
Shadow Banning – the act of blocking a user’s content from an online community such that it will not be readily apparent to the user that they have been banned – has become more widespread on Instagram and Facebook in recent weeks. With the easily-manipulated algorithms they use, posts that should have tens of thousands of views based on the number of followers a page has, will only have a few hundred. Page owners can’t prove it is hidden from their audience, but the numbers don’t lie.
“Cannabis account holders on the big apps are getting fed up with the shadow banning practices and are looking for alternatives,” says Steve Einzig, founder and CEO of PotSmoking.com. “I’ve heard dozens of stories about popular cannabis pages just disappearing. With Facebook and Instagram not allowing cannabis accounts to use their internal promotional tools, these cannabis pages are even more important for marketing purposes and these people are often out of business overnight.”
Canna-centric apps like New York City based PotSmoking.com are providing another option for cannabis content – an anonymous app where their “users” can share whatever they choose with like-minded people from around the world. One way they are different is that every post is seen by everyone on the app’s 420 Worldwide page, thus creating a true inclusionary social media platform without the debilitating algorithms.
In this day and age, Cannabis brands seeking exposure are more numerous than the options they have to work with. “As we saw with the big TV networks, they aren’t ready to work with cannabis and hemp brands just yet,” says Einzig. “This leaves a big void that can be filled by social media, but not on pages that are shadow banned. We see a huge opportunity to be a perfect marketing solution for these brands. With the Green Rush exploding all over the world, our app will be positioned perfectly to provide the solution.”
PotSmoking.com was conceived when CEO and co-founder, Steve Einzig and his close college friend Steven Stern got together in New York City in 2017. Stern was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in November of 2014 and in concert with other cancer medications uses CBD and THC to help manage the disease. As a result of this regimen, Stern’s condition is stable after over 4 years. Together, they set out to create a new cannabis social media platform that could provide an alternative to the big social media apps and aggregate content to educate people around the world about the medicinal benefits of cannabis.
“We want the app to be a platform to educate and give hope to people around the world battling cancer or other medical conditions where Cannabis is becoming an acceptable treatment,” says Einzig. “Aside from being a social media platform, the app includes the latest online content covering cannabis and cancer, using CBD and THC to treat opioid addiction, medical marijuana facts and resources, legalization information, daily marijuana news and anything our ‘users’ want to share with our ever-growing international cannabis community.”
Out of necessity comes innovation, and apps like PotSmoking.com are happy to take in the innocent victims of Facebook and Instagram’s shadow banning campaign, and give them a friendly and educational canna-centric social media home.