Unraveling Meta’s Posting Rules for Ketamine

Discussions surrounding ketamine have proliferated across various platforms, with the drug garnering attention from celebrities, affluent individuals, and everyday patients alike, many of whom perceive it as a potential panacea for depression and other mental health disorders.

Whether encountered on social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram, there is palpable enthusiasm among patients and clinics regarding ketamine’s therapeutic potential. However, it is crucial to acknowledge ketamine’s potential for abuse and its associated risks, including fatality.

Consequently, ketamine poses a new challenge for Meta, the parent company of these social media platforms, which has long grappled with moderating content and advertisements promoting health-related products, such as weight loss supplements and questionable COVID-19 remedies.

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Ketamine Ads Allowed on Meta Despite Safety Concerns

Unraveling-Meta's-Posting-Rules-for-Ketamine
Discussions surrounding ketamine have proliferated across various platforms, with the drug garnering attention from celebrities, affluent individuals, and everyday patients alike, many of whom perceive it as a potential panacea for depression and other mental health disorders.

Despite cautions regarding ketamine’s hazards, Meta permits the dissemination of advertisements and posts concerning the drug.

Occasionally, this discourse originates from sources that fall short of the conglomerate’s extensive standards, which are designed to uphold the dissemination of content grounded in credible information.

Other internet advertising networks are also endeavoring to find equilibrium.

Google stipulates that since ketamine is a prescription medication, advertising it is permissible solely if a provider is furnishing a prescription and holds certification from a third-party regulatory body; advertisers are barred from endorsing recreational drug use.

Meanwhile, TikTok, which did not respond to a comment request, universally prohibits advertisements from unlicensed pharmacies or dispensaries, as well as promotions that depict prescription drug misuse.

Meta’s Dilemma: Ketamine Content Regulations

Meta’s regulations have presented a dilemma for the company. Posts discussing ketamine, which serves both as a recreational drug and a potential treatment for mental health conditions, are subject to distinct regulations contingent upon their context.

This was highlighted in an investigation and subsequent report conducted by Meta’s external Oversight Board, colloquially referred to as Facebook’s “Supreme Court” due to its responsibility in adjudicating the platform’s speech policies.

The intricacies of this balancing act became evident when a post concerning ketamine underwent multiple evaluations by Meta’s content review apparatus.

In response to queries for this article, Meta directed KFF Health News to the board’s report and the company’s corresponding response.

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