Despite its mainstay as a media technology company, Twitter consistently struggles with seemingly avoidable PR issues. The main problem for Twitter over the years has been abusive harassment from trolls and the overall toxic environment its community creates. In a move to fix that, Twitter has been censoring keywords that might induce and collect negativity. “Sensitive content,” in other words.
According to US News & World Report, that included “cannabis.” And “marijuana,” and “pot,” and “weed.” Users also discovered that terms like “porn,” “nsfw,” “kink,” and more were blocked. Meanwhile, searches for opioid products like “OxyContin” and “Vicodin” still yielded results.
— Christopher Ingraham (@_cingraham) March 26, 2017
This understandably caused a strong reaction within the cannabis community, who formed a petition on change.org named “Tell Twitter: Stop Censoring Marijuana.” The petition earned more than 500 signatures.
“Censoring marijuana-related searches prevents serious people from communicating about one of the most prominent policy issues of our time,” the petition reads.
— Amanda Chicago Lewis (@msamandalewis) March 27, 2017
Following the furor caused by journalists and activists within the cannabis community, the “sensitive content” regarding marijuana-related searches disappeared with no indication why. Searching for these topics will now yield numerous results. This was yet another avoidable PR fiasco for Twitter, though it’s a positive development for the cannabis community their voices continue to be heard.