I was on my way to Sioux Falls this morning and I decided that I wanted to grab an IM 27 yard sign while I was up there. I tried to search for the organization South Dakotan’s for Better Marijuana Laws on Facebook so I could find their physical address quick. Well to my surprise when I tried to search the group behind the ballot measure I was given multiple different warnings about the Page.
When searching for SDforBML on Facebook the first thing i received were these strange warnings about the Page. (Pictured on the right is the first warning. The picture on the left is the second warning after clicking past the first, because why not make me click through twice).
The first picture below shows that nothing comes up under my search for the Page except for these videos (from the page I’m actually looking for) but yet somehow Facebook can’t seem to find it, even though they just previously warned me about the Page in the pictures above. The second picture shows that when clicking on one of the videos and then clicking on the Page at the top of the video it just comes back to an empty search with no options listed.
In this picture below I show how when searching for the Page and then selecting “Pages”, nothing actually comes up in the search results oddly enough, even though they know exactly what I’m looking for.
And in my last picture I was able to actually find the Page through a search on my laptop computer (I think it showed up this time because I had previously searched for it, so it was suggested) but it still made sure to give me that warning and that very nice offer to seek help, thanks Facebook.
So you may be wondering what is your point? Who really cares, you found it… Well my issue comes down to censorship of the Page. Facebook is a private company that certainly can decide their own guidelines and community standards, and after all whats wrong with warning people of drug sales? But the problem to me comes down to Facebook literally interfering in our elections that are only 2 months away by limiting access to the page and posting incorrect and misleading warnings about the organization behind the measure!!
South Dakotan’s for Better Marijuana Laws is a legitimate political organization that has successfully petitioned the State to have an initiated measure (IM 27) on the ballot in South Dakota this November. By censoring their page and making it very hard to find and skewing search results, they are by definition interfering with our election process. IM 27 is a legit ballot measure that the voters will have the chance to vote on November 8th, and the organization behind the measure has absolutely nothing to do with “selling drugs” as these warnings portray,and to be honest it’s quite absurd. Now this could all be chalked up as some algorithm misfire so to speak, but I found this all quite disturbing and Facebook needs to fact check itself on this one.
For more information about IM 27 please visit their website here.