Instagram is where most of us think food porn and nature shots go to live on in their filtered glory, but it’s also home to various “enterprising” individuals.
DrugAbuse.com recently investigated the social network to find out how easy or difficult it was to find drugs. To make a long story short, it was way too easy.
“The word “obvious” is an understatement for how these dealers operate. With usernames like “ihavedrugs4sale.” and drug-riddled posts/pictures, these guys (and girls) eagerly flaunt their offerings. The most popular items in their stock include marijuana, prescription painkillers, xanax, molly (mdma), and lean (codeine syrup mixture).”
According to DrugAbuse.com, Instagram is the most utilized for selling drugs next to Twitter and Facebook, and it found 50 different dealers in one day.
Finding the dealers simply involved searching hashtags, blatantly obvious ones we might add, like #weed4sale, #xanax, #lean and #pills.
Here were the most popular drugs being sold:
- Marijuana – 82 percent
- Lean – 58 percent
- MDMA – 20 percent
- Painkillers – 18 percent
- Xanax – 16 percent
- Mushrooms – 6 percent
- Cocaine – 2 percent
- LSD – 2 percent
Out of the 50 dealers, 34 percent showed their face, and over half, 56 percent, flashed money.
Here were the most popular means of contact:
- Kik – 48 percent
- Standard text messaging – 26 percent
- Email – 16 percent
- Instagram Direct Messages – 14 percent
- Commenting on photos – 10 percent
- Facebook – 2 percent
- Other – 2 percent
DrugAbuse.com took several screenshots of one text message exchange, and it’s about as shady as you’d expect:
Although Instagram has taken measures in the past to block drug-related hashtags, people have obviously found a way around it.
“In the end, this is just another example proving that what’s on the web can easily cross over into the real world, and that shielding yourself behind a screen name can apply to much more than angry comments on YouTube or some random Internet forum. It also highlights an incredibly interesting issue that social networks are facing: When it comes down to it, are they really responsible for how people use their services? Is it their job to censor content? Should they censor content?”
How do you think Instagram and other social networks can better stop the selling of drugs or even illegal weapons?