15 minutes in the future

Do you think Warhol had a crystal ball, or should we even be surprised that the man credited for creating the first “it” girl could foresee the wave of internet fame that would soon be upon us? Social Media is the all-encompassing term surrounding the exorbitant amount of time we spend staring at our phone watching other people “live their best life”, but what happens when you start to monetize these platforms? You get the good, the bad, and the “instagram model”. Social media platforms; The holy trinity, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, have been the source of first person accounts that may other wise have never been told, places to promote new and upcoming businesses and cat videos, and can be both the best and most vacuous place. It’s never been easier to access all the tools that were once kept behind the velvet ropes for the elite. The power of the internet and social media, more specifically Instagram, is prominent right there on your news feed. Business of yesteryear left no business model to follow in the wake of this new frontier.  IG has paved the way for a slew of new business, which otherwise would have never gotten off the ground, to not only open their proverbial doors but also to thrive. In an economy where over 50% of the work force finds employment in a small business, don’t you think IG would define its policy better?

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What do you get when you mix this new landscape of marketing, selling, and running an online business with opposing federal and state laws? One big cluster-fuck courtesy of Instagram. You may have noticed one of your favorite cannabis influencers wiped clean from the platform. You and @Iamcannabess’s 90k following were left dumbstruck at the account’s deactivation.  This isn’t the first time the IG police have censored a cannabis account or post. IG asks its community to regulate itself, kinda like “see something say something” for the internet; this is fine until you factor in that the community is also your competition. With no way of knowing if your account/photo violates the terms of service or if you’ve been reported by an enemy, how do you stop IG from deleting your precious pot pictures?  Easily put: you don’t. For the time being, IG has created a list of things cannabis accounts can’t incorporate in a post, but even following those rules won’t always keep you out of the clutches of IG.

 In response to her account being deactivated and then reactivated (two weeks later, after much pleading) with little more than “oops it was a mistake,” what are the repercussions for the platform? In an Initiative by @Iamcannabess’, to remind the higher-ups at IG how many users log on simply for cannabis related content and what the platform would look like if we weren’t active, she’s staging a good ol’ fashion protest. What does a peaceful protest against the largest social media platforms look like? Absence. We here at Stiletto Jane’s will be going dark on OCT 6 (IG anniversary): this means NO posting, NO stories, NO likes and NO comments. Basically, treat Oct 6th like the mental health day we need but can’t seem to unplug. The goal is to show them how strong in number we are, either cannabis-centered or just followers. We have power in our multitudes, and we won’t allow them to disable people’s livelihoods on a whim. See you on October 6th.

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Alexandria Kostoff