Snapchat has come under the radar of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for alleged drug sales that happened within the platform. According to CBS, both agencies announced Wednesday that an investigation into Snapchat is on the way.
Using online platforms for drug dealing is not an emerging problem, and drug dealers often find it safe to sell their drugs through social platforms. In the Snapchat case, a few children reportedly died due to an overdose. The attorney now seeks to interview the parents and check the children’s social accounts to find the suppliers.
Bloomberg also reports that the disputed drug is fentanyl. As per the outlet report, children contacted drug dealers on Snapchat to buy prescription pills. Unfortunately, the sent pills were laced with fentanyl or were actually pure fentanyl.
FBI and DOJ investigate Snapchat over drugs sold on the platform
One of the victims was a 14-year-old kid named Alexander, who died because of using a pill laced with a highly toxic synthetic opioid. His mother, Amy Neville, traveled to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to meet with authorities and seek justice for her son.
Mrs. Neville recalls her latest talks with her son when Alexander said, “I wanted to try oxy,” and “I got some from a dealer on Snapchat. It has a hold on me, and I don’t know why.” On the same night, Alexander took the pill and passed away.
Neville has also started a campaign to raise awareness about fentanyl’s effects and its sales through Snapchat. She spoke at the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday and alluded to how these dealers groom children like a sexual predator. “They become friends with them and take advantage of the fact that they are vulnerable,” Neville said.
It is difficult to track drug dealers on Snapchat because messages and images disappear after being viewed. However, Snapchat can help authorities to detect dealers and prevent more children from falling into their trap.
In response to allegations, Snapchat says it made an effort to detect and remove drug dealers from its platform and raise awareness about deadly drugs such as fentanyl and counterfeit pills.