INSTAGRAM’s algorithms are connecting minors to the accounts of drug traffickers, a new report from the Technology Transparency Project shows.
The Technology Transparency Project (TTP) writes in the report that it has created seven Instagram intended for teen users aged 13, 14, 15 and 17.
While the account’s settings clearly indicate the user is a minor, Instagram doesn’t stop them from searching for drug-related content.
In one case, the app even auto-populated results, including a Xanax reseller account, when a user started typing “buyxanax” into the search bar.
After following up on the Xanax dealer’s account, the account then received a direct message (DM) containing “product menus, pricing, and shipping options,” according to the report.
The TTP investigation also found that the app helped the accounts of hypothetical minors connect with drug traffickers claiming to sell Adderall, MDMA and the highly addictive drug Fentanyl.
“It takes 20 seconds to connect with a purported drug dealer. The accounts are telling you they’re children, which is the most shocking thing,” said Katie Paul, director of TTP.
Stephanie Otway, spokesperson for Meta, Instagram’s parent company, said after TTP’s report was published.
Earlier this week, Instagram announced plans to launch some new parental control features in March 2022.
These features will allow parents to control how much time their kids spend on apps, as well as see who their kids report to apps.
The news comes just before Instagram head Adam Mosseri will testify before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
Mosseri is in the hot seat due to reports that Instagram has known for years about the damage it does to young users, especially teenage girls experiencing body image issues.
The head of Instagram is expected to focus on the aforementioned censorship tools during the hearing.
He is also expected to talk about the possible positive effects of Instagram, such as helping young people foster healthy online relationships and tackle loneliness.
In other news, Google has taken action against big hacking operation which it claims has infected more than a million devices.
iPhone owners are being urged change their settings to protect their text from stalkers.
And Apple has announced that it will allow customers fix their own iPhone for the first time starting next year.
https://www.the-sun.com/tech/4230716/instagram-teens-drugs/ How Instagram is making it easier for teens to buy drugs online – hidden code words revealed