Instagram has blocked searches for certain terms associated with the suspected illegal sale of drugs via its service.
The photo-themed social network took the measure after being asked to respond to an investigation by #BBCtrending – a new social media series.The journalists had uncovered many pictures and videos of narcotics posted alongside text advertising their sale. Most of the drugs-related activity appears to be taking place in the US.”Just getting a few packs ready for tomorrow morning… Place your order today, it gets shipped out at 8AM tomorrow,” read one post placed beneath an image of bags of marijuana.Another picture showed a variety of pills, adding: “$2 a pop for xans, $10 a pop for roxys.”In many cases the buyer and seller arranged to finalise their deals using WhatsApp or Kik – instant messaging apps in which they could keep messages private. Like Instagram, accounts can be set up on these services without revealing either party’s true identity. You would think an application like Instragram would be a lot more cautious about the material that is posted through it; especially since its owned by Facebook which is notorious for its legal issues.