Cannabis Blackout Day is Saturday, October 6th, 2018.
We’re participating in this movement and invite you to join in. Be sure to read the end of this blog post where we explain why this movement is important to us.
What is Cannabis Blackout Day?
The originator of this movement, Bess Byers (@imcannabess), is a prominent cannabis advocate and influencer who has been facing repetitive deactivation by Instagram. Recognizing this isn’t a struggle she faces alone, she was inspired to create a petition “Update Instagram’s Terms of Service to Include the Cannabis Community.” The petition has already received over 17k signatures, which we invite you to contribute to.
A fragment of this petition states the following:
“We ask Instagram, please update your Terms of Service to reflect changing cannabis laws. Stop targeting legal businesses, advocates and influencers. End the censorship and suppression of cannabis content. Allow pages to promote posts and be verified. Most importantly, we ask Instagram to provide greater transparency surrounding their Terms of Service.”
Get Involved in #CannabisBlackOutDay
Thousands of loyal Instagram users amongst the cannabis community will choose to opt-out of social interaction for the entire day of Saturday, October 6th, in solidarity and support of the movement.
We’ve created a few shareable graphics square and story post size, which we look forward to seeing you share leading up to Saturday, October 6th, inviting your friends to participate in #CannabisBlackOutDay. Feel free to reference this article to provide an example of a business you care about that is being affected by this and explain how to get involved.
CannaSmack proudly supports this #CannabisBlackOutDay movement and would like to use this as an opportunity to explain why this is so important to us by sharing the variety of ways in which we have experienced censorship of all kinds since our launch (in 2015) which inspired our #FreeTheLeaf campaign.
Examples of Censorship CannaSmack Has Faced
Both Instagram and Facebook have permanently denied us access to paid promotions after 3 years of responsible advertising. As a brand with a high percentage of revenue in online sales, this effects us tremendously.
- We have repeatedly attempted to clarify that our products are 100% federally legal, containing hemp seed oil, which is lacking any THC, CBD or other cannabinoid profiles.
- At this point, we are not even able to file another appeal.
“Giphy” recently notified us that our entire collection of GIFs were flagged as PG13.
- Anything PG13 or over will not show up on Instagram or SnapChat when you run a search.
- Since every single GIF in our collection was flagged, the only commonality amongst them all is our logo, which includes the root word “Canna”.
- Look at our Giphy gallery! Do you think all of these GIFs deserve have a PG-13 rating?
A popular electronic music festival, which takes place in a forest in the state of Michigan and a music festival in Seattle, Washington denied our applications to attend as a vendor.
- The image of a cannabis/hemp leaf and root-word ”canna” have raised far more ‘red flags’ than we could have ever perceived.
- We’ve been denied the opportunity to make public donations to handfuls of charitable organizations.
- We’ve noticed this often is rooted in a propaganda based understanding of cannabis, by either the organization officials and/or their major donors; they fear that publicly accepting a donation from us would cause one of their sponsors to drop their funding.
“Square” a payment platform terminated our account.
- Original reasoning stated that our business model was against their terms of service. Upon follow-up we were told specifically it was because we promote the use or sale of illegal substances.
- This occurred suddenly, in the midst of several back-to-back shows that CannaSmack was vending at, severely affecting our ability to accept payments.
- Our balance was frozen and held for 3 months. No chance to repeal or reactivation despite being able to prove that we’re a federally legal business.
With all we’ve faced in such a short period of time, we can only imagine the variety of ways in which members of the cannabis community have been affected by unfair censorship. We may be taking a break from Instagram for #CannabisBlackoutDay on Saturday, October 6th, 2018, but we will not remain silent.
Thank you for taking the time to contribute to #CannabisBlackoutDay!