Instagram wants the platform to be a go-to place for all things, shopping included.
But they probably weren’t gunning for this business.
A recent report indicates that teens, and many others we’d assume, are using the popular platform to buy illegal drugs such as MDMA and Xanax.
Engadget details how users look up certain hashtags associated with the drugs they’re looking for on the app and then go from there. Interestingly, and in an example of the power of Instagram’s algorithm at work, Engadget noted that following one account or hashtag for such services inevitably leads to having other similar accounts suggested. You know, just a little bit of comparison shopping for drugs on social media.
All of this information comes after an investigation by the Tech Transparency Report and, naturally, comes out right at a time when Instagram’s negative impact on teens is being discussed in the popular press. Obviously, a Meta spokesperson went on to point out that this kind of use of the platform constitutes a violation of the TOS but that doesn’t stop accounts from being created.
The past several months are probably some of the toughest Facebook and Instagram have faced from a PR standpoint. After all, the company even changed their corporate name to Meta in an effort to signal a new direction – and probably distract from their old aura at the same time.
Speaking of old ways, did you see our report about Instagram bringing back some form of the chronological feed? We reported on that a couple of days back and, so far, the public reception for that news is more than positive. You can check out that story at this link.
As usual, if you have any thoughts on people selling drugs through Instagram we’d love to hear them in the comments below.
Check out some of our other photography news on Light Stalking at this link right here.