Facebook is owned by humans but run by machines, and those machines are unable to differentiate between a “weed”, a thing that grows in the ground in Nintendo’s Animal Crossing (and, I guess, in real life), and the other “weed”.
As Polygon report, numerous private Facebook groups have begun warning users to avoid using the word, as both they and the individuals involved have been receiving notices from Facebook that the constant use of “weed” is a breach of the site’s “community standards”.
This is the point where you might argue that despite its connotations, the word “weed” is also an incredibly normal one, used in plenty of other situations, and that Facebook sending out warnings to groups over its use is madness. Which means this is also the point where I remind you that Facebook’s algorithms are completely fucked.
As an example, I’m part of a few sneaker groups, and a common term when trying to buy or sell using shoes on those groups is that a post gets “Zucced”, a reference of course to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. This is when a completely legitimate listing for a product is automatically delisted by algorithms, who have done nothing but scan for some brand names and keywords and make a terrible (but final!) judgement based on nothing but some adventurous programming.
If you complain about this you’re simply sent to FAQs or, if you’re lucky, another algorithm.
Now imagine that same broken logic extending to news feeds, displayed stories and moderation.
There are also reports that the same actions are being taken over the use of the word “Molly”, who in Animal Crossing is one of the most popular villagers, but which can also be a reference to the drug “Molly”. Commiserations to anyone whose actual name is Molly.