Monday , July 26 2021

Facebook and Instagram use AI to find drug dealers



Facebook and Instagram use AI to find drug sellers using their sites.

"Proactive detection" technology allows the platform to delete images related to drugs before being seen or reported by users.

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"Our technology is able to detect content that includes images of drugs and describes the intention to sell with information such as prices, telephone numbers or usernames for other social media accounts," said Kevin Martin, head of US public policy on Facebook.

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This practice appears when the social media platform announces a new group, Tech Together to Fight the Opioid Crisis, which also includes Google and Twitter.

Companies also work with experts at the University of Alabama to monitor new tactics used by dealers, such as street names for drugs.

They will also signal to people looking for drug-related content for drugs and US mental health agencies.

Speaking at an event organized by US nonprofits, the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacy on Tuesday, Susan Molinari, who heads government policy and relations at Google, said that 50,000 searches for special opioid drugs were made every day on search engines.

"We know that many people who are seeking help are parents or family members of opioid users, so we know that if we can encourage them towards organizations such as the Partnership for Narcotics Free Children, we will get an instant connection," he said.

He added that YouTube also hosted advertisements using restored drug users to promote charities that offer help to addicts.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has previously indicated that the platform will look at introducing technology to proactively remove more drug-related content.

Social media platforms have been criticized after investigations found highly addictive painkillers including Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and Percocet for sale.

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"What we need to do is build more AI tools that can proactively find that content," he said at the time.

Last November Mr Zuckerberg became emotional when he talked about the level of opioid addiction he encountered on a tour of 20 US states.

Figures published earlier this year showed that 2017 was the worst year for drug overdose deaths in the country, with 72,000 people estimated to have died.


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