At first, Social Club was mostly an Instagram clone for weed. The ones behind the app prided itself on the “censorship-free” app. As we all know, give someone an inch, and they take a mile.
The app first launched on July 15, 2019, and it was the home for content related to weed and advertisements for marijuana. It became a little hub for those who smoke, sharing their experiences, taking pictures of what they have. With the zero censorship policy, people on the app felt free to post whatever they wanted. As you’re probably thinking, it wasn’t a good idea.
In a perfect world, maybe, however, in this one, all that did was give the wrong people the kind of freedom they probably shouldn’t be having, such as providing easy access to dealers for potential clients. With the apparent reports of child pornography, it can be bringing paedophiles to the app. This whole situation may potentially open a full different can of worms. More on that later.
The app ended becoming a place where people started posting child pornography, dealers posting what they’re selling, images of guns, sex, etc. It seemed as if the issues with all this happened overnight. Before everything happened, the app had 170,000 users, the next it shot up to almost half a million users. With that many users, bots got identified and were revealed to be a big part of the problem that Social Club was facing.
Berner initially helped make the app to promote his own Cookie Dispensary business since he couldn’t go on Instagram. It was to be a tool for him, and it’s now become an anchor on his business with these problems the app is dealing.
It became for Apple to want to keep in their app store, so it got removed.
How Is It Getting Fixed?
Berner didn’t intend to treat the app like another business, however, now that his tool for marketing has become tainted, he has to clean it up. He wants to hire people and come up with an image recognition software that can detect unwanted content, and keep the user from posting unwanted content. This way, he will be able to bring it back to where it was and use it for marketing his business again.
All of this will more than likely lead to monetizing the app in some way, shape, or form since it will be becoming almost another business. It won’t be cheap coming up with the software he needs, so it makes sense if the app goes that route.
What Does This Mean For Others?
It can be argued that this is why there shouldn’t be too many freedoms online. The app was excellent until it started branding itself as a zero censorship app, and then all the issues came along. Other apps or companies may be seeing this as a reason to keep things the way they are or be even more strict with their censorship. Having people those types of things isn’t good for any business.
Imagine you were walking down the street, and you see a swastika on a poster, glued to the front door of a store. You’re going to have some opinions and might not ever go in there just because of that. The whole incident with Social Club might’ve raised some questions among corporations, and a consequence of this fiasco may have a more significant effect than it seems on the surface.
Social Club is not in a good spot in any way shape form right now. Berner has his hands full with the amount of work that is ahead of him. If there is anything to learn, is that the general public isn’t ready for zero censorship. There is nothing wrong with voicing an opinion, having debates and conversations. The issue is when it gets a level where hate beings to be used. Child pornography being shared, drugs deals being a click away.
It’s unfortunate with the stigma that marijuana already has, and this will only make it look worse. Everything has its pros and cons. Marijuana is no different. It may have been a marketing tool for Berner, however, it still also became a place for people to connect, and that’s something that should never be scoffed at.