Meta’s Threads App Under Fire for Inconsistent Drug Content Filtering, Sparks Debate on Double Standards

Meta’s Threads App Faces Backlash for Varied Drug Content Filtering, Igniting Debate on Double Standards

Meta’s app, Threads, launched to much anticipation, but it is now embroiled in controversy over its inconsistent drug content filtering. Users are questioning the app’s double as it offers warnings and treatment resources for searches related to substances like “marijuana” and but neglects to do the same for drugs associated with serious addiction and harm such as alcohol and tobacco. This inconsistency has sparked a heated debate among the app’s tens of millions of users.

Drug Content Filtering

When searching for terms like “marijuana,” “psilocybin,” or “ibogaine,” Threads displays a warning message that cautions against the sale of illicit drugs and offers confidential treatment referrals, prevention, and support through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Surprisingly, searches for substances like “alcohol,” “tobacco,” and even “,” “cigarettes,” and “liquor” do not trigger any prompts or provide information on drug treatment resources.

Inconsistent Filtering

It is worth noting that the app does not consistently apply the same treatment to all substances. While terms like “MDMA,” “peyote,” “Vicodin,” and others receive the warning and treatment resource prompt, searches for “cannabis” and the psychedelic “ayahuasca” do not elicit a similar response. The reasons behind these discrepancies remain unclear, although the inclusion of federally legal hemp under the term “” may explain this distinction.

Response and Clarification

Marijuana Moment reached out to Meta for clarification on the matter, but a representative was not immediately available to comment. It remains to be seen if there is a formal partnership between Threads and SAMHSA, leading users to wonder about the nature of this filtering feature.

Comparison to Twitter

For those familiar with the intersection of marijuana and social media, this development in Threads may feel reminiscent of Twitter’s past actions. In 2020, Twitter partnered with SAMHSA to caution users about “marijuana” searches but later suspended that practice after being acquired by Elon Musk. Twitter has since revised its cannabis advertising policy and allowed certified cannabis advertisers to promote their brands and campaigns on the platform.

Threads as an Alternative

Threads has been positioned as a superior alternative to Twitter, as the latter has encountered glitches and faced major policy changes. However, the app seems to have adopted a page from Twitter’s by implementing the “get help” feature. By clicking this option, users are directed to a SAMHSA helpline page, although the existence of a formal partnership between Threads and the federal agency is yet to be confirmed.

Criticism and Hidden Coverage

Many users view the restriction as a stigmatizing double standard, as the warning primarily associates addiction with the marijuana plant while neglecting to address “alcohol,” “vodka,” and “whiskey.” The limitation also poses challenges for companies and media organizations covering topics like marijuana and psychedelics reform or efforts, as their content is automatically hidden unless users bypass the filtering feature.

The Future of Threads

The future of this filtering feature on Threads remains uncertain. It remains to be seen if Threads will follow in Twitter’s footsteps and remove the “get help” option. Nevertheless, Marijuana Moment continues to actively engage with the app to ensure news reaches new readers on this platform.

Other Cannabis and Social Media Developments

In other developments related to cannabis and social media, Google has updated its policy to allow companies to promote FDA-approved drugs containing CBD and topical CBD products with limited THC content in specific states. Twitch, the video game streaming company, recently updated its branding policy, prohibiting promotions of marijuana businesses but explicitly allowing alcohol partnerships. Apple’s iPhone software update includes the option to track medications and learn about possible drug interactions, including marijuana.

Conclusion

As the debate surrounding Threads’ inconsistent drug content filtering intensifies, questions remain about the app’s treatment of various substances and the potential partnerships it has established with federal agencies. With the ongoing struggle between social media platforms and cannabis-related content, users and stakeholders eagerly await further developments and clarifications regarding these policies.

Malvin Felix
I'm Malvin, a cannabis news enthusiast who finds joy in staying updated about the latest industry trends. My passion led me to become a dedicated writer, entrepreneur, and investor in the cannabis space. Through my writing, I aim to educate and spark discussions, while my entrepreneurial ventures and strategic investments reflect my commitment to driving positive change in the industry.

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