Instagram is cracking down on drug trade advertising by blocking certain search terms. Among these terms, the common “#weedstache,” a reference to users putting a marijuana bud on their upper lip as if its a mustache.
Instagram thinks that banning the term will prevent drug dealers from showing off their product, and will prevent drug trades.
A spokesman for the Facebook-owned company said that the company had a clear police for “inappropriate content,” but that the company, with the exception of child abuse, is reactive rather than proactive. In other words, they wait for users to click “report,” before anything happens.
It’s odd that #Weedstache joins the list, but it’s no surprise considering the list is known for its inconsistency. The Daily Dot previously circulated this list:
They also pointed to the odd banning of #scumbagsteve, a popular meme.
HuffPo reports the bizarre fact that #boobs if of the table, but #boobz is still fine.
If you comment using one of these hashtags, nothing will happen. The “ban” is put in place by the fact that the term is not searchable, and hence, adding it to one of your posts is completely worthless.
In a more pro-active sense, Instagram provides a “learn more” button, linking to mental health organizations, to those searching for anorexia based material with hashtags like #thinspo, which will yield extremely disturbing pictures of malnourished people.
The only logical reason we could find behind some of Instagram’s bans is a bad user experience caused by overly generic terms like #iphone or #instagram, which clearly give little to no meaningful information about the results, says Mike Krieger, one of Instagram’s co-founders.
While sexual terms are understably bad, it seems that Instagram has begun to walk the dangerous and slippery road of censorship, all to prevent some people from getting their pot.
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