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Meta investigated over illicit drug sales: report

by Agence France Presse

NEW YORK, United States – US authorities are investigating Meta over its role in the illicit sale of medications, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

Citing documents and people close to the matter, the American business daily said prosecutors in the southern US state of Virginia are looking into whether the company’s social media platforms are facilitating and profiting from the illegal sale of drugs.

Prosecutors have asked for records on “violative drug content on Meta’s platforms and/or the illicit sale of drugs via Meta’s platforms,” according to copies of subpoenas reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been helping with the investigation, the paper reported.

“The sale of illicit drugs is against our policies and we work to find and remove this content from our services,” Meta told the Journal in a statement, adding that it “proactively cooperates” with law enforcement to help combat the sale of illicit drugs.

Contacted by AFP on Saturday morning, neither the FDA nor Meta would comment.

On Friday, Nick Clegg, president of global affairs at Meta, said the company had joined an effort alongside the US State Department, the United Nations and Snapchat to help disrupt the sale of synthetic drugs online and educate users about the risks.

“The opioid epidemic is a major public health issue that requires action from all parts of US society,” Clegg wrote on X.

More than 700,000 people died of opioid overdoses between 1999 and 2022, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



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