Zuckerberg Surprised by Extent of Opioid Crisis, While Multiple Facebook Pages Sell Opioids

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg / Getty Images

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said what surprised him most about the U.S. was the scope of the opioid crisis, but Facebook is flooded with illegal ads marketing these pain medications.

Sellers in the U.S. and overseas are using Facebook pages and videos to offer drugs that require a prescription by U.S. law, CNBC reported.

Zuckerberg said he became aware of the scale of the opioid crisis during his 2017 travels across the country.

The marketing issue, where users can search for Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and Percocets, among others, persists weeks after President Donald Trump declared the opioid addiction crisis a public health crisis.

CNBC notes that Facebook users can easily find these drugs by searching the name of the drug followed by "for sell," rather than "for sale."

These sorts of pages and posts can evade Facebook detection for months at a time.

CNBC said they notified Facebook of the posts they found in a simple search and was told the company would remove them. However, 12 hours later many of the posts were still available.

In a statement from Facebook to CNBC, it is suggested that Facebook currently relies on users to police the site for illegal drugs sales, instead of designating employees to this task.

"Anyone can report content to us if they think it violates our standards," Facebook said in a statement to CNBC. "People can flag pages, profiles, individual content, and/or comments to us for review."

Katelyn Caralle

Katelyn Caralle   Email Katelyn | Full Bio | RSS
Katelyn Caralle is a media analyst at the Washington Free Beacon. Before joining Free Beacon, Katelyn worked as a Digital Strategy Intern at The Heritage Foundation. She graduated from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in 2016 where she served as Editor-in-Chief of The Voice.

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