Social media is used by billions of people daily and has become a part of so many people’s lives. According to research, in 2005, 5% of adult Americans used some form of social media. Today that number is more than 72%. Social media is defined as electronic communication (like a website for social networking and microblogging). The user creates online communities to share personal messages, ideas, information, and other content like videos. Various social media platforms like Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and others have transformed our communications and are now the most popular and preferred way to communicate. We use social media to get the latest news, perform virtual gatherings, purchase items for business, market, play games, watch videos, and for almost anything you could imagine. Is it possible that Snapchat is being used to deal with and purchase drugs?
Is Snapchat is Being Used By Drug Dealers?
Although social media has some positive aspects, it can also have many negatives. Studies show social media can be more addictive than alcohol or cigarettes. It can consume some people’s daily lives to the where they check it all the time without even thinking about it. That’s how powerful of a draw it has. It can also be used as a tool for individuals to bully others (cyberbullying). Cyberbullying has caused people to take their own lives; it’s that serious. And social media platform Snapchat is no longer just a place to watch silly videos or post selfies using different filters. Now it has a much darker side to it. It is being used to deal drugs, especially to underage children. And the executive director of the Prevention Council says that the Covid-19 pandemic has made children an even bigger target for this.
How Are Dealers Selling Drugs On Snapchat?
Snapchat is now one of the most popular social media apps used for buying and selling drugs because any messages typed automatically disappear, accounts and profiles can be quickly created and then deleted, and there are an excessive amount of profile names that you can add, which are based on Bitmojis (not an actual human face as a profile picture). Countless drug dealers advertise on Snapchat using a cryptic code of emojis. Anyone can sell these days. A plug means the individual is a drug connection. Blue dots signify pills, and there is even a car emoji used to signify delivery. Some bold dealers put regular pictures up of the drug they are selling. As long as they are making money, they don’t care. The most popular drug sold on Snapchat is cannabis, but opioids, cocaine, MDMA (ecstasy), Xanax, and nitrous oxide are also high up on the list. The most terrifying thing here is that kids are dying from buying counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl. There are counterfeit Xanax, OxyContin, Percocet, and Adderall; you name it. None of these drugs are safe. One mother said her son took one pill, and it was pure fentanyl. She stated, “One pill is all it took.” These drugs are coming in from Mexico, and they aren’t hard to get. One DEA administrator said that even more troubling is that the cartels are controlling the perfect delivery tool for drugs.
Is Snapchat Combating Illegal Drug Dealing?
Snapchat states they have always had a zero-tolerance for drug dealing on the app and has announced new efforts to combat any drug dealing on the platform. For example, Snapchat said it had improved automated drug detection systems, enhanced its partnerships with various law enforcement, and launched a new portal to educate users about the dangers of drugs. Snapchat said it had added a feature that the account is immediately banned when the system detects illegal drug dealing activity. In addition, the creator is blocked from creating any new Snapchat accounts. They also reported in a blog post that experts are continually updating the list of slang and drug-related terms blocked from search results on the app.
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