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Instagram has been found to be recommending accounts of drug dealer’s to the young users

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According to the Tech Transparency Project’s report, Instagram suggests  hashtags that are drug-related to the young users.

This app has been found to be allowing the teen users as young as 13 years to find drugs for sale in two clicks.

For the minor users instagram is not found to be a safe platform.

According to the Tech Transparency Project’s report, it created fake accounts for the sake of teen users aged 13, 14, 15, and 17. It was found that the fake accounts were not cut out from searching any drug-related content on the application. When there’s an attempt by a theoretical under-aged user to start typing buyxanax into the search bar, it exhibited a suggested Xanax dealer.

Tech Transparency Project created multiple Instagram accounts for minors between the ages of 13 and 17 and used them to test teen’s access to the cut out substances on the platform.

Instagram has been found to be recommending accounts of drug dealer's to the young users 1
picture credits : techtranparencyproject.org

The reporter said, not only Instagram allowed the hypothetical teens to easily search for age-restricted and non legal drugs, but the Instagram’s system helped the underaged accounts directly connect with the dealers of drugs selling everything from opioids to party drugs.TTP in its investigation unveiled that the Instagram bans drug-related content like #mdma, but it was found that when the teen user searched for #mdma, Instagram auto-filled related hashtags for the similar drug types into the search bar.

These drug dealers sell drugs publicly on Instagram and regularly their accounts have a mention of the type of drugs which they are selling. Those types of accounts are meant to be hidden away from the young users but in the recent findings, it was discovered that Instagram apparently doesn’t hide the hashtags. It was also found that when a teen user followed a drug dealer’s account, Instagram started showing and suggesting similar drug dealers in the suggestions section.

Tim Mackey says, Instagram is one of the worst places for exposure to this type of content. This application has been time and again dragged up for exposing the young users to deleterious and obscene content on the application said San Diego, a professor at the University of California, and founder of S-3.

Haarika
Harika is a computer science engineer and a privacy activist. She loves educating people about privacy, technology, and technology and helps people with purchase decisions using the internet.

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