A cannabis-related app, called Social Club, was recently kicked off Apple’s app store for violating several terms of service.
The app first appeared on July 15, 2019 as part of a larger project with Joshua Otten, co-founder of cannabis brand PRØHBTD, CEO of content services agency RONIN, rapper, and Cookies dispensaries owner. Fans refer to Otten by his stage name, Berner. The app was originally intended to serve as a companion to Otten’s “Social Club TV” project, a cannabis network featuring a sequence of marijuana episodes like “Marijuana Mania,” “HighTec,” and “PotPie.”
What is the Social Club App?
The app was supposed to be a place for the cannabis-related to content to live in the mobile world. It would also allow the company to advertise for marijuana, which currently is not allowed on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
The app was quite popular, having had 455,000 downloads on both iOS and Android devices. However, the app’s original purposes became muddled as it changed into a “censorship” area where people could post just about anything.
What caused such issues in the app’s platform?
Users began to post drugs for sale, which then turned into a barrage of photos of drugs, guns, weaponry, racist content, memes, and adult and child pornography. Because the app lacked censorship, it almost asked for an abuse of its original purposes.
Berner designed the app to look just like Instagram’s platform, which means it allowed users to post photos, comment on other’s photos, and browse a public page to find content. This content-filled page, called “Discover,” eventually became filled with spam and other highly inappropriate content, many of which was illegal.
Berner responded to the app’s devolvement with a tweet, saying “I feel like we were attacked. I don’t see how overnight the app completely changed. Sad, scary, and wack. Cleaning it up now.”
But this passive stance is rather odd, as it’s the app’s original development that caused such chaos. There was no method of moderating posts or comments. This means that users could really utilize it as a social media network with absolutely no rules.
Apple has taken Social Club “temporarily” off the App Store until the company gets the platform issues resoled. According to Berner’s latest Instagram story, he is working to get an image recognition system in place. This system will help to spot and get rid of inappropriate content. The app is reportedly still live on Google Play, but it’s not as popular on that platform as on iOs. It has become the #12 top-ranked app on the App Store, but only #70 on Google Play.