Activists Decry Twitter’s Censoring of Marijuana Searches

Article by Emily Gray Brosious, Extract

Twitter has started blocking search results for marijuana and cannabis related content, and activists say the change equates to undue censorship.

Twitter has started blocking search results for marijuana and cannabis related content, and activists say the change equates to undue censorship.

Here’s what Twitter’s “latest” posts results page looks like for “marijuana” searches:

Activists decry Twitter’s censoring of marijuana searches

The same non-result appears for “cannabis” searches, “weed” searches and “pot” searches. Search results for “opioids” still appear as normal, however. “Alcohol” and “liquor” searches still work as well.

Marijuana is illegal under federal law, but 28 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the drug for medical use. Eight states and D.C. have legalized marijuana for adult use, and many others are currently mulling legislation to legalize.

Activists with the group Marijuana Majority have launched a Change.org petition calling for Twitter to stop censoring marijuana-related content searches.

According to the petition, Twitter recently instituted a “sensitive content” filter, which is automatically turned on for many users and settings to disable the filter are hidden. As a result, search queries for topics Twitter deems “sensitive” yield zero results under all tabs other than “Top” and “Periscope.” That means zero results for cannabis-related searches under the “Latest,” “People,” “News,” “Photo” and “Video” tabs.

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