Family members of overdose victims in US desire motion from social media platforms

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Protesters march in entrance of Snapchat headquarters in Santa Monica, California on June 13, 2022 demanding social media providers to block the sale of medicines on their platforms —AFP
  • Of 107,000 overdose fatalities very last yr in the US, 70% were being triggered by “fentanyl poisoning”.
  • A father says a drug seller contacted his son on Snapchat.
  • Mom and dad are contacting on social media platforms to consider more robust motion from drug revenue.

SANTA MONICA: Families of teens who died soon after overdosing on medications they purchased as a result of Snapchat and other social media platforms referred to as Monday for tech companies to do a lot more to deal with the issue.

Sam Chapman, portion of a team that staged a protest Monday in entrance of Snapchat’s Santa Monica headquarters, advised AFP his son died in February 2021 following a pill he bought through the platform was laced with the incredibly effective opioid fentanyl.

“I am listed here right now to alert men and women about the risks of social media, providing drugs and other felony functions into the lives of our people, as a result of our little ones,” stated Chapman, 57.

His son Sammy would have celebrated his 18th birthday past weekend.

Chapman described the horrific scene of getting his son lifeless on the floor in his bedroom, in what he mentioned was termed the “fentanyl demise pose.”

“He had stopped respiratory and fell backwards in his chair and vomited, and he choked on his very own vomit… It is a pretty typical way of heading,” explained Chapman.

Of the 107,000 overdose deaths recorded previous yr in the United States, 70% were being brought on by “fentanyl poisoning,” which is now the main bring about of death for Americans aged 18 to 45, according to the groups backing Monday’s protest.

Chapman said a drug seller experienced contacted his son on Snapchat and sent him a “colorful drug menu with photos.”

“At the base it said that he delivered. And so he related with our son and sent the medication to our house just after we were asleep, like it was a pizza,” he added.

Like the other victims’ family members associates, Chapman is contacting on Snapchat and other social media platforms geared toward young men and women to acquire more robust motion in opposition to drug product sales.

“We have been functioning tirelessly to assistance overcome this nationwide crisis by eradicating illicit drug sellers from our platform,” a Snapchat spokesperson told AFP.

“We use superior know-how to proactively detect and shut down drug sellers who try to abuse our platform, and block search effects for hazardous drug-associated written content,” the representative additional.

But Chapman stated the tools presently in place do not function since sellers use emojis and code phrases that are not blocked.

The team Victims of Illicit Drugs (VOID) is demanding US regulation to be updated so that social networks are held liable for what occurs to their users on their platforms.

“If you happen to be strolling in a grocery retail outlet, you slip and slide, you can sue them,” claimed VOID president Jaime Puerta.

“The law was written in 1996,” he extra.

“The legislators had no thought of in which the net would be right now.”

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