Snapchat has announced a series of measures it is taking to counter drug trafficking on its platform, educating users about the dangers of fentanyl and other drugs.
The platform directs users who search for drug-related keywords like fentanyl to a new educational portal called Heads Up.
It is also ramping up actions against drug dealers across its platform, including improved in-app reporting tools and proactive discovery.
These announcements come in the wake of Investigation NBC News recently conducted a series of deaths among teens and young adults suspected of purchasing fentanyl-containing drugs through the social network.
The report claimed that drug dealers are able to use the platform to find buyers, and that the platform is not doing enough to remove their accounts and keep them off. The social network has also been accused of taking too long to provide information to law enforcement.
Fentanyl is considered A synthetic opioid has been linked to an alarming increase in deaths in the United States in recent years. AndIn 2019, nearly 50,000 people in the United States are believed to have died from opioid overdose.
Pharmacists put fentanyl in prescription Vicodin or Xanax pills, which are then inadvertently purchased by customers.
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Snapchat wants to tackle the fentanyl problem
Snapchat confirms that it is taking more action against merchants across its platform. It says application rates more than doubled in the first half of 2021. Its systems proactively detected 260 percent more material than they did previously.
It explains that nearly two-thirds of drug-related content is proactively detected by artificial intelligence systems. It adds that it has improved its response time to law enforcement requests by 85 percent annually. However, she admits she still has more work to do.
In addition to proactively removing drug dealers from its platform. Snapchat cites research showing that some users are unaware of how dangerous fentanyl can be. Which is something the Heads Up portal is designed to deal with.
The platform says it is promoting the portal, as well as the risks of fentanyl in general, via a new filter. She also discusses the crisis in upcoming episodes of her original show Good Luck America.
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