Threads Social Media App’s Drug Content Filter Raises Questions About Consistency and Double Standards

Threads Social Media App and <a href="https://leafyleaks.com/tag/drug/" class="st_tag internal_tag " rel="tag" title="Posts tagged with Drug">Drug</a> Content Filter

Threads Social Media App and Drug Content Filter

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Drug Content Filter
  3. Comparison with Other Platforms
  4. Conclusion

Introduction

The new social media app Threads, owned by Meta, was launched on Wednesday. This Twitter alternative, tied to Meta’s existing Instagram app, has garnered the attention of tens of millions of users. However, there are inconsistencies in the app’s drug content filter, specifically in identifying substances deemed potentially problematic.

Drug Content Filter

Threads incorporates a filter that displays a warning when users search for posts related to substances like “marijuana,” psychedelics such as “psilocybin” or “ibogaine,” or the opioid “.” The warning states:

“This May Be Associated with the Sale of Drugs.

The sale, purchase, or of illicit drugs can cause harm to yourself and others and is illegal in most countries. If you or someone you know struggle with , you can get help through confidential referrals, , and recovery support.”

Users are then given the option to “get help” through the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) or to proceed and “see results anyway.”

The filter also applies to other drug-related terms, including MDMA, peyote, Vicodin, Percocet, Adderall, Xanax, meth, heroin, and DMT.

Curiously, the app does not provide treatment resources when users search for terms like “beer,” “cigarettes,” and “liquor.”

It is worth noting that the app does not seem to filter or offer treatment resources for searches related to “cannabis” or the psychedelic substance “ayahuasca.” The reason behind this discrepancy remains unclear, although it is possible that “cannabis” encompasses federally legal hemp, leading to the distinction.

Marijuana Moment reached out to Meta for clarification, but a representative was not immediately available to comment on the matter.

Comparison with Other Platforms

Threads’ drug content filtering approach bears similarities to the one Twitter adopted in partnership with SAMHSA in 2020, cautioning users about “marijuana” searches. However, Twitter discontinued this practice after being acquired by Elon Musk. Twitter has since revised its cannabis advertising policy to allow certified advertisers to feature packaged cannabis products in promoted ad creative in select legal states.

While Threads is positioned as a superior alternative to Twitter, which has experienced glitches and policy upheavals, the app seems to have drawn inspiration from Twitter’s history. Clicking on the “get help” option in Threads leads users to a SAMHSA helpline page, although it is unclear whether there is a formal partnership between the app and the federal agency.

The restriction imposed by Threads’ filter has raised concerns among many, who perceive a stigmatizing double standard. The association of addiction is placed on the marijuana plant, while “alcohol,” “vodka,” and “whiskey” remain unaffected by the policy.

Furthermore, the filter poses for companies and media organizations covering topics such as marijuana and psychedelics reform, the opioid crisis, and harm reduction efforts, as their content is automatically hidden unless users bypass the filter to access it.

Whether Threads will follow Twitter’s footsteps and remove the feature remains to be seen. Marijuana Moment is actively present on the app to disseminate to new readers on the platform.

Conclusion

Threads, the new social media app owned by Meta, implements a drug content filter that warns users when they search for posts related to certain substances. While the filter is consistent for substances like marijuana, psychedelics, and opioids, it does not extend to terms like “beer,” “cigarettes,” and “liquor.” The app’s approach bears similarities to Twitter’s previous cautionary measures but with some distinctions. The implementation of this filter has raised concerns of a stigmatizing double standard associated with marijuana. The extent to which Threads will maintain this feature remains uncertain.

In related developments, Google has updated its policy to allow promotions of FDA-approved drugs containing CBD and topical CBD products with limited THC content. Twitch, a video game streaming company, has updated its branding policy to prohibit promotions of marijuana businesses while allowing partnerships with alcohol brands. ’s iPhone software includes an option for users to track medications and learn about possible drug interactions, including with marijuana.

It is worth noting that social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok have faced various challenges and restrictions regarding cannabis-related content, with inconsistencies in their policies and enforcement.

Sources:

  • Threads Social Media App
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • Twitch
  • Apple
  • Meta-owned Facebook
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
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