Instagram Now Monitoring Drug Hashtags

Instagram Now Monitoring Drug Hashtags

Last week some Instagram users probably noticed a degree in drug-related hashtags on the platform. Facebook took the step in actively removing the hashtags such as #oxycotin and #xanax. Users have found a way around this with hashtags not monitored.

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Some tags are still around but have a message that recent posts were hidden since the community reported that content might be against guidelines. The main reason for hiding these tags is to prevent the trade of controlled substances and prescriptions on the platform. As one Instagram spokesperson said, the company has “zero tolerance when it comes to content that puts the safety of our community at risk.”

The step also shows that Facebook is active in trying to avoid anything that might draw the ire of the government. Before the Instagram community was moderated but still allowed to heavily conduct itself accordingly—much like parts of Twitter and Facebook.

It is this very reason that the head of FDA, Scott Gottlieb has been critical of social media platforms for allowing things to continue in such a manner. In talking with about the delicate balance of companies in over-policing, he states that he understands why companies would take a velvet glove approach. That said, he says it is necessary to tackle this because of the threats “Drug Instagram” presents.

Gottlieb plans to host a summit for the CEOs of internet companies to join and talk about what role the industry should take when it comes to the opioid issue in the U.S.


Starting with Kabir News in 2013, James has focused on tech, gaming, and entertainment. When not writing, he enjoys catching up on sci-fi and horror shows and comics. He can be followed on Twitter @MetalSwift.

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