Though Facebook-owned photo sharing site Instagram is mostly associated with celebrities who share images from their everyday lives to give their fans a glimpse of their homes, families and more, it now appears there may be more than meets the eye.
Now that Instagram allows advertisements on the site, there have been several cases where users have been advertising illegal drugs, according to #BBCTrending by BBC News. It is also being said that users just need to know the right keywords to find thousands of drugs advertised on the site, which they can later purchase by contacting the seller.
"Just getting a few packs ready for tomorrow morning … Place your order today, it gets shipped out at 8am tomorrow,” reads a message, with a picture of bags filled with weed, reported The Guardian. Apart from marijuana, numerous prescription painkillers and other drugs can also be found on the site.
Taking action against this trend, Instagram has decided to block certain hashtags so that users will not be able to search for these drugs on the site.
"Instagram has a clear set of rules about what is and isn't allowed on the site," a spokeswoman for the brand told BBC News. "We encourage people who come across illegal or inappropriate content to report it to us using the built-in reporting tools next to every photo, video or comment, so we can take action.”
"People can't buy things on Instagram, we are simply a place where people share photos and videos,” she added.
The popular photo sharing site started rolling out advertisements this month. The first advertisement to make an appearance on the site was of a Michael Kors watch, which received numerous likes and garnered appreciation.
While Kors, as well as Instagram, might have benefited from the advertisement, numerous drugs dealers too appear to be thriving alongside.