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Making Progress in Fight Against Illicit Drug Sales: Instagram

Making Progress in Fight Against Illicit Drug Sales: Instagram

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  27 Sep 2018 10:01 AM GMT

San Francisco: Responding to a Washington Post report on how Instagram serves as an open marketplace for advertising illicit drugs, the Facebook-owned service said it was making progress in making the platform a safe place for everyone. The Washington Post story, based on the findings of a New York City-based cyber-intelligence start-up, GIPEC, said that Instagram algorithms serve up an array of personalized drug-related content aimed directly at people who show an interest in buying substances illicitly.

When GIPEC Chief Executive Eric Feinberg began hunting for drug posts in June by searching for obvious hashtags, he found hundreds of Instagram posts appearing alongside content from 60 different advertisers. Once he followed the sellers’ accounts, Instagram’s algorithms began delivering posts marketing drugs directly into his feed, suggesting other drug sellers for him to follow and introducing him to additional hashtags that he used as clues, the Post reported. Admitting that Instagram needs to do more in its fight against illicit drug sales, it said the findings of GIPEC are “misleading”. Besides taking several steps to remove harmful content from its platform, Instagram said it was also working hard to help those suffering from addiction get the support they need. (IANS)

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