If you thought the worst thing you would see on Instagram was a teenage girl making a duck face, think again. Apparently, the site is a way for drug traffickers to market their products. The sellers will post pictures of their drugs to the Instagram website and prospective buyers can contact them through the site if they are interested in buying the the drugs or have questions about them.
Instagram has created special programs that will prevent drugs from being sold on the site. A programs will filter out which Instagram profiles or photos display drugs and will delete the accounts and/or the photos.
A representative for the site says that Instagram was never meant to be a market for anything. Not only are drug sales not permitted on Instagram, no sales are allowed.
“People can’t buy things on Instagram; we are simply a place where people share photos and videos,” she said.
The increase in drug sales on Instagram is likely a result of the closing of the website, Silk Road. Silk Road was shut down a couple months ago and was a website that was used to sell drugs, weapons and many other illegal items. People who sell these types of things online are always looking for a new way to increase their sales.
Instagram, like many social networks cannot prevent all illegal activity on their site. Investigations into the site show that many people use the site to sell various items and also for threats of acts of violence against other members. Instagram hopes that their current filters will help prevent such activities from taking place on the website and will work to develop better filters in the future.
Image from Creative Commons.