Despite some external factors being really integral to our lives, human beings are, by and large, a self-reliant species. Regardless of how tough certain situations look, we always find a way through them, thus doing enough to validate the said claim. Our ability to help ourselves has also translated itself into many practical representations over the years. While each of these representations has played a key role for us at a given time, they do differ a lot from an impact standpoint. Now, if we are picking the most impactful of them all, the consensus’ choice has to be technology. In all honesty, there is no documentation of how many causes technology has aided to this day, but it’s clearly a lot. With such a powerful tool pulling the strings for us, a major change in the dynamics becomes almost obvious. The change arrives on the back of numerous different elements, one prominent member, of course, being social media. Right from the jump, social media has provided us with every imaginable opportunity, hence literally altering our approach to life. Today, owing to social media and its features, the world is better-informed than ever before. Nevertheless, there is also another reality running parallel to what we just mentioned. Moving away from the positives, social media platforms are now aggressively heading towards an image of a troublemaker, and they recently gave us one more reason to feel that way.
According to a report published by tech advocacy group, Tech Transparency Project (TTP), Instagram is offering a “drug pipeline” to kids by openly facilitating the advertisement of drugs like Xanax, ecstasy, opioids etc. To substantiate the knowledge, TTP carried out an experiment, which saw the group setting up seven Instagram accounts appearing to belong to teenage users between 13 and 17 years old. During the experiment, it was discovered that the process of finding and connecting with drug dealers was dangerously easy, as researchers took just a few clicks to land on handles dealing in such things. The group did not attempt to actually buy drugs, so it’s clear how the further process would have unfolded, but whatever findings it gathered paint a very grim picture.
TTP also talked at length about how Instagram’s automatic features helped the search of a drug dealer. If a user types something remotely close to a drug’s name, the platform would instantly redirect them to a sea of accounts selling the particular drug and more.
When asked for a response regarding the report, a spokesperson from Meta, Stephanie Otway said:
“We removed 1.8 million pieces of content related to drug sales in the last quarter alone, and due to our improving detection technology, the prevalence of such content is about 0.05 percent of content viewed, or about 5 views per every 10,000. We’ll continue to improve in this area in our ongoing efforts to keep Instagram safe, particularly for our youngest community members.”