Over the last few months Facebook has been heavily blocking marijuana-related search results on their platform. But alongside Canada’s marijuana legalization, the social media giant has stopped “shadowing blocking” search results worldwide for marijuana-related pages that are verified by Facebook.
Facebook is making these marijuana businesses, people and groups get “verified for authenticity” using a 4-digit verification code via phone, reports Market Watch. Facebook indicated that the reason for the search result block was to stop illegal sales that were occurring on the platform.
“We are constantly working to improve our search results so that we minimize the opportunity for people to attempt illicit drug sales while showing content that is allowed on Facebook and is relevant to what you are searching,” said a Facebook spokesperson. “When searching ‘cannabis’ or ‘marijuana,’ pages that have been verified for authenticity will now be included in search results.”
Prior to the block being lifted pages for governing bodies of marijuana programs – such as the Ontario Cannabis Store, which is run by the Ontario government – were blocked in Facebook search results. Users may still have difficulty getting results for marijuana-related videos and other content because changes have not yet been made for those types of search results.