Post Describing an Experience with Ketamine as a Medical Treatment


AUG 17, 2023


Today, the Oversight Board selected a case referred by Meta regarding an Instagram post describing a user’s experience with ketamine for the medical treatment of anxiety and depression by medical professionals. The user praises their experience, describing the altered mental state they entered as a result of the substance as well as their support for the use of psychedelics in treating mental health conditions.

Meta determined that this content did not violate our policy on Restricted Goods and Services, as laid out in our Instagram Community Guidelines and Facebook Community Standards and left the content up.

Meta referred this case to the board because we found it significant and difficult as it creates tension between our values of safety, voice and dignity.

While Meta typically does not allow content that “admits to personal use” or “promotes” non-medical drugs (the definition for which includes substances “used to achieve a high” or altered mental state), we allow for broader discussion as it relates to pharmaceutical drugs which are defined as “drugs that require a prescription or medical professionals to administer.” These two definitions in our policies can conflict when a drug is legally administered by medical professionals for treating mental illness in which an altered mental state can be a goal. In this instance, we determined the admission and promotion of ketamine use as a medically-administered pharmaceutical is allowed because it is in line with our overall policy of promoting discussion about medical treatment.

We will implement the board’s decision once it has finished deliberating, and we will update this post accordingly. Please see the board’s website for the decision when they issue it.

Case decision

We welcome the Oversight Board’s decision today on this case. The board overturned Meta’s original decision to maintain the content on Instagram. Meta will act to comply with the board's decision and remove the content within 7 days.

After conducting a review of the recommendations provided by the board in addition to their decision, we will update this page.