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Meta, Facebook's parent company, suspected of facilitating and profiting from drug trafficking on its platforms

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Apr16,2024

 Meta, parent company of Facebook, suspected of facilitate, and profit from drug trafficking on its platforms

France-Soir The Meta group is suspected by the State of Virginia of having facilitated illicit drug trafficking.

Already criticized for the involvement of its platforms in human trafficking, the Meta group is this time suspected by the state of Virginia of having facilitated illicit drug trafficking. The social networks of this web giant are allegedly involved in the promotion and illegal sale of drugs, including opiates. The Attorneys General of this eastern US state are demanding archives from the multinational, which defends itself by saying “it will do everything possible to remove this content”. 

The information was revealed on Sunday March 17 by the Wall Street Journal. A criminal investigation was opened in 2023, taking place before a grand jury, that is to say citizens who take part in the investigation phase.

Justice requires archives by Meta

What is Meta suspected of? Virginia prosecutors accuse this GAFAM member of “facilitating and profiting from illegal sales” of drugs on his platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. They demand “archives linked to content on medicines in violation of regulations on Meta platforms and/or on the illegal sale of medicines via Meta platforms”. 

These practices have worried parliamentarians in the American Congress for many months and a group of senators sent a letter to the American Medicines Agency (FDA) in February, demanding action to put an end to the promotion of drugs on social networks. Moreover, the FDA provides its support and participates in this federal investigation, specifies the Wall Street Journal.

The Meta group quickly reacted, recalling that “the illegal sale of drugs is contrary to [its] “We are working to find and remove this content from our services. Meta is proactively cooperating with law enforcement to help combat the illegal sale and distribution of medicines.&nbsp ;

Last Friday, Meta's president of international affairs, Nick Clegg, recalled in a post crime (UNDOC), to prevent the dangers of drugs.

The web giant's approach is “to help prevent the sale of synthetic drugs on the Internet”, particularly opiates which constitute a “major public health problem” in the United States. Data from the Centers for Prevention and Control American diseases (CDC) report more than 700,000 deaths between 1999 and 2022, caused by overdoses linked to the use of opiates, obtained on prescription or illegally.

The Wall Street Journal says it is based on documents and people close to the file. He says subpoenas have already been issued and interrogations have been carried out. The grand jury is expected to determine whether Meta's platforms “facilitate and profit from the illegal sale of drugs” and whether they should therefore be prosecuted. This is why they are demanding archives.

Before drug trafficking, human trafficking

This is not the first time that a member of GAFAM has been suspected of being involved in drug or medication trafficking. In 2011, Google was fined $500 million after allowing Canadian pharmacies to advertise in the United States. Result: illegal importation of prescription drugs increased.

As for the parent company of Facebook, the suspicions of prosecutors in the state of Virginia are added to the proceedings initiated in 2023 against the platforms of the Meta group involved in human trafficking. A report from the Florida Attorney General revealed that Facebook, Instragram and to a lesser extent, WhatsApp and Messenger, were the “preferred applications” of traffickers.

As part of legal proceedings brought by the State of New Mexico, internal Meta documents were revealed in January 2024, showing that the group allegedly promoted its platforms to children, while knowing that significant quantities of inappropriate and sexually explicit content were circulating there.&nbsp ;

Employees of the group led by Mark Zuckerberg have expressed their concern internally and the documents reveal that the multinational recognized the risks weighing on miners, but without reacting to maintain profitability.

“For years, Meta employees have tried to sound the alarm about decisions made by the company's management that exposed children to dangerous solicitations and child exploitation,” laments the Attorney General from New Mexico. According to him, Meta and Mark Zuckerberg allow predators to sexually exploit minors.


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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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