Get Ready to Be Spammed by Twitter for Typing Weed Words
In a joint collaboration with the feds, Twitter is now promoting addiction treatment resources every time a user searches for the keyword “marijuana” and similar words. Interestingly, there is no warning popping up when an alcohol-related term is searched.
Starting from this week, Twitter users will be able to see the following notification above all the tweets containing drug-related terms: “If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, you are not alone.” Moreover, the alert directs the users to the Mental Health Services Administration’s official webpage.
On the other hand, “alcohol,” “beer” or “wine,” have no such notifications despite approximately 3 million people dying from alcohol abuse each year. Ironically, there have been no known deaths from cannabis overdose, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
As per the words of Mat Sutton, the Drug Policy Alliance director of media relations, it comes as no surprise that the Mental Health Services Administration is flagging such content. Yet, for a platform such as Twitter to allow entire search terms to be marked — regardless of the reason behind the search itself — is shocking (to say the least).
According to Matthew Schweich, the deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project, Twitter should absolutely add the same feature for alcohol searches, since “it is a more dangerous substance,” as he put it.
Strangely enough, users searching for “marijuana,” “cocaine,” and “heroin” receive said notification, but those searching for “MDMA,” “psilocybin,” “Adderall,” “LSD,” and “MDMA” do not. This only goes to show the inconsistency of Twitter’s newly introduced feature.
Marijuana Moment has reached out to Twitter representatives to obtain commentary about the inconsistency reflected in the lack of notifications for alcohol-related searches, but they refused to discuss the matter further.