Like millions of people around the world, you probably use one or more social media accounts. Maybe you use Facebook to communicate with childhood friends. Perhaps you follow Twitter feeds to keep up with current events. In recent news, people are using a familiar application for a very unusual and effective purpose. At this time, Instagram (a renowned photo-sharing platform) has uncovered illegal drug sales. How are they accomplishing this? Through little pieces of data called “hashtags.” Here is a closer look at the Instagram crackdown and how it can affect our current crisis.

The Instagram Crackdown

A recent news post revealed that Instagram has uncovered a string of illegal activities that have involved the sales and promotion of painkillers, including OxyContin and Percocet. This process started back in June 2018, when Eric Feinburg (CEO of the cybersecurity company GIPEC) began looking for hashtags containing subject matter related to illegal drugs. As a result, he discovered multiple accounts that were promoting these substances.

As a direct response, Instagram has begun implementing changes to its search algorithms to allow Feinburg to crack down on more criminal activity related to drugs. As part of this process, GIPEC, a cybersecurity company, developed an Instagram feed to draw in followers who were promoting illegal drugs online. However, Feinberg himself admits that his company has to develop its programs, given the fact that the false Instagram account starkly contrasts with regular content.

SOME INSIGHT INTO HOW INSTAGRAM IS TARGETING THE SALES OF ILLEGAL DRUGSEven more frightening, GIPEC’s CEO found advertisements for illicit drugs paired with harmless postings from companies like Target and Proctor & Gamble. Twitter and Facebook reps revealed they have begun improving security measure to ensure innocent people do not see this illicit content. In a unique twist, Feinburg has also proposed that the Communications Decency Act – Section 230 should be temporarily lifted to ensure cybersecurity companies and legal groups can uncover drug rings more easily. Officials argue that the only way to ensure public safety is to move between the lines.

Always remember that drugs do not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance abuse disorder or a severe form of addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Out counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.

The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your drug addiction troubles today.