Washington Post

Instagram has a drug problem. Its algorithms make it worse.

Foto: AP/Rolf Vennenbernd

Instagram is known for its celebrity posts and photos of enviable vacations. But it has also become a sizable open marketplace for advertising illegal drugs. The company has pledged a crackdown in recent weeks, but it is struggling to keep pace with its own algorithms and systems, which serve up an array of personalized drug-related content aimed directly at people who show an interest in buying substances illicitly.

Recent searches on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, for hashtags of the names of drugs - such as #oxy, #percocet, #painkillers, #painpills, #oxycontin, #adderall and #painrelief - revealed thousands of posts by a mash-up of people grappling with addiction, bragging about their partygoing lifestyle and enticements from drug dealers...

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