By / September 12, 2020

Social media platforms take action against doctors in the medical cannabis sector

Doctors, journalists and businessmen in the medical cannabis sector had accounts from major social networks blocked, in what it seems to be, according to some of the victims, an orchestrated attack against anyone who promotes the use of cannabis for medical purposes.

According to the reports, the major social media services are applying sanctions to users who post informative articles or promote the use of the plant, among the sites that are involved in this issue are: YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram. 

Pernambuco psychiatrist Ana Hounie, 49, known in São Paulo for prescribing cannabis in specific cases like Tourette’s Syndrome. The neuropsychiatric disorder causes multiple motor or vocal tics, of varying intensity and frequency. She is one of the latest healthcare profressionals that has suffered from the latest action the social media sites have taken.

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Doctors lost 20 years of material due to YouTube actions

Hounie used to post on YouTube everything related to her specialty. Classes, seminars, patient cases and videos directed to the segment. Last Tuesday (1), however, the doctor’s account was blocked by the channel, after posting some information about cannabis.

“I was suspended and lost access to material from 20 years of work. I lost the right to have a YouTube account, but I don’t know why”, says Hounie, who had 1,700 followers. She received a message from the channel saying that the blockade was ‘due to severe violations’ of community guidelines.

Hounie wrote an email questioning what YouTube considered a violation. “I wanted to know exactly what was the inappropriate content responsible for the ban, but I received no clarification. At the very least, I wanted to have access to my material. I don’t have a lot of back-ups”.

Doctors in Brazil denounce the severe actions taken by social media

Furthermore, Hounie realized that she was not the only one in this situation. Doctors, businessmen and even professionals in the communication area have all been affected. Such as the case of journalist Marcus Bruno, from the website Cannabis & Health. He had his Twitter account blocked, where he already had more than 5,000 followers.

Like the doctor, at first Bruno also thought it was a one-off case. However he now says “I am beginning to think it was an orchestrated action. I made several posts replying to the project’s opponents”, says Bruno referring to the PL that proposes the cultivation of medical Cannabis and industrial hemp presented in the Chamber of Deputies in August.

Finally, Medical doctor Janaina Barboza, a specialist in orthomolecular medicine and an enthusiast of cannabis treatment, lost her WhatsApp account. She warned friends and relatives about what happened through a statement on Instagram, asking them to take her number from the groups where she was inserted. According to her: “Now it’s the system that owns it. It’s not a coincidence”.


(Featured image by Austin Distel via Unsplash)

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