Instagram makes it easy for teens to find drugs, report finds

Instagram makes it easy for teens to find drugs, report finds


Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Instagram’s algorithms recommend drug dealers’ accounts to minor users, according to a new report from the Tech Transparency Project. The platform also suggests drug-related hashtags, the report found.

In the report, published Tuesday, the Tech Transparency Project (TTP) created seven fake accounts for teen users aged 13, 14, 15, and 17. Instagram did not stop those accounts from searching for drug-related content. In one case, the platform auto-filled results when a user started typing “buyxanax” into the search bar. One suggested account was a Xanax dealer.

After following the account of a Xanax dealer, a fake minor user got a direct message “with a menu of products, prices, and shipping options,” the report found. A fake minor…

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