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Facebook denies Instagram 'open market' for drug dealers

By Alexander J Martin, technology reporter
Facebook has hit out at claims that its platforms and algorithms support drug dealing, with the problem alleged to be rife on Instagram.
The post was made in response to a report by the Washington Post which claimed Facebook-owned Instagram was functioning as an "open market" for drug dealers.According to reports, searches on Instagram for terms such as #oxy and #percocet often reveal accounts belonging to drug dealers offering illegal substances.While those hashtags have now been removed, Sky News found dozens more search terms for drugs with slightly misspelled names or common nicknames which continue to return results.Based on research by a company called GIPEC, following or liking these posts on Instagram causes users' timelines to be filled with further advertisements by drug dealers.Facebook said the findings were misleading, stating: "GIPEC created an artificial Instagram feed by following only objectionable content and some brand accounts."It added that "this kind of manufactured feed is not a real representation of what most people see on Instagram".
Facebook denies Instagram 'open market' for drug dealers

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Facebook said there is no room for drug dealing on its services
Monika Bickert, Facebook's vice president of global policy management, said in her previous career as a prosecutor she saw "first hand the damage these drugs can inflict on communities and families".Ms Bikert said there was "no place for this on our services. It's bad for society, bad for people, and against our values".She stressed that Facebook blocks and filters "hundreds of terms associated with drug sales" and investigates material which is reported to them.
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