Type to search

Effects

Hawley asks Zuckerberg to respond to a “terrible” report on Instagram and underage drug use

Share

NEWYou are now ready to listen to Fox News articles!

Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday calling for responses to a recent report that found that Instagram enables underage users to search for illegal drugs and that its algorithms are helping associate them with drug dealers.

According to research by the Tech Transparency Project (TTP), which created multiple Instagram accounts for hypothetical minors between the ages of 13 and 17, Meta’s photo-sharing platform allowed them to get an account in two clicks that Sells drugs like Xanax. The report contrasted this with the five clicks it took to quit the app.

The report also stated that the app’s automatic features did not prevent the minors from looking for drug trafficking accounts, but actually accelerated the process. It does so despite the company’s community policies that prohibit the buying or selling of non-medical or pharmaceutical drugs.

“The results of the report are appalling as our nation faces a historic drug overdose epidemic and alarming teenage mental health deterioration caused by the coronavirus pandemic and misguided mitigation efforts,” Hawley wrote, citing 100,000 deaths Overdose between May 2020 and April 2021.

“It is unreasonable for a company to fuel this epidemic of death and despair. Unfortunately, given Instagram’s blatant disregard for the mental health of its young users, the results of TPP’s research are not shocking, ”he continued.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has been embroiled in a variety of controversies over the past few weeks. (Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP via Getty Images)

Hawley asked Zuckerberg to explain the steps Instagram has taken to enforce its community guidelines against the sale of illegal and prescription drugs, and also requested details of the protocols Instagram has for removing such accounts. Hawley also asked if Instagram is working with law enforcement against such practices.

SENATORS EXAMINATE FACEBOOK FOR WSJ REPORT ON INSTAGRAM’S NEGATIVE IMPACT ON MENTAL HEALTH

Hawley asked Zuckerberg to answer his questions by January 31st. Meta did not respond in a timely manner to Fox News’ request for comment.

Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Speaks during a Senate Justice Committee hearing investigating Texas' abortion law on Capitol Hill on September 29, 2021 in Washington, DC (Tom Williams-Pool / Getty Images)

Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Speaks during a Senate Justice Committee hearing investigating Texas’ abortion law on Capitol Hill on September 29, 2021 in Washington, DC (Tom Williams-Pool / Getty Images)

Following reports of Instagram’s negative impact on the mental health of young people, Hawley passed law in September making social media companies liable for the harm their products do to children.

About four in ten Americans use Instagram compared to about seven in ten Americans who use Facebook, according to a poll by Pew Research published last April. The majority (81%) of young adult users between the ages of 18 and 29 say they use Instagram.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

More than 40% of the app’s users are under the age of 22, and around 22 million teenagers use the app every day, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing documents from Facebook.

Fox News’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.

Tags:

You Might also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *