Snapchat targets drug dealers on its platform to address fentanyl crisis


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The company said it has made a ‘significant investment’ in its law enforcement operations

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Snapchat said Thursday that it is accelerating efforts to identify and remove drug dealers from its platform, after federal officials warned that counterfeit pills with deadly fentanyl were widely available for sale on the social media app.

The company said it has made a “significant investment” in its law enforcement operations over the past year and has enhanced “proactive detection capabilities” to identify drug dealers. Snap Inc. also launched an in-app portal called Heads Up that automatically provides educational resources to users who search for drug-related keywords.


“We have heard devastating stories from families affected by this crisis, including those purchased on Snapchat from drug dealers with fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills,” the company said in a statement. blog post. “We are determined to remove illicit drug sales from our platform, and we are investing in proactive identification and collaboration with law enforcement to hold drug dealers accountable for the harm they cause to our community.”

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Snap Inc. expanded its actions after the Drug Enforcement Administration issued a public safety alert on September 27 about a “sharp increase” in counterfeit pills containing fentanyl or meth. Officials noted that the counterfeit pills were “killing unsuspecting Americans at an unprecedented rate” and were “widely accessible and often sold on social media and e-commerce platforms.”

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The DEA said authorities have seized more than 9.5 million counterfeit pills so far this year, more than in the past two years combined.

Snap said its efforts have already made progress, with the active detection rate increasing to 260% in the first six months of the year. The company said the response time to legitimate requests from law enforcement officers has increased by 85% compared to the same period last year.

“We will continue to work to strike the right balance between security and privacy on our platform so that we can empower our community to express themselves without fear of harm,” the company said.

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