Facebook “gives free rein” to ads for illegal drugs

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Facebook “gives free rein” to advertisements for illegal drugs and false documents on the Covid vaccine, according to an investigation

  • Criminals appear to be able to evade Facebook’s algorithm and promote products
  • These include counterfeit drugs and banknotes as well as hacker services
  • Ads for guns, ammunition and illegal drugs were also found targeting the Russian public










Ads selling illegal drugs and fake Covid vaccine certificates are being hosted on Facebook despite being banned from the platform, an investigation has revealed.

Criminals seem to be able to evade Facebook’s algorithm designed to filter this content and promote their products to millions of users.

These include drugs such as cannabis, LSD, and magic mushrooms, as well as fake £ 20 bills and hacker services to help spy on partners.

Criminals seem to be able to evade Facebook’s algorithm designed to filter this content and promote their products to millions of users (file image)

Advertisements for firearms, ammunition and illegal drugs were also found targeting the Russian public.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), which uncovered dozens of illegal ads in a matter of days, accused Facebook’s verification process of being “unfit for use.”

Most users redirected to Telegram, a heavily encrypted messaging app with virtually no monitoring from moderators, where transactions can be made.

Imran Ahmed of CCDH said: “Ninety-eight percent of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertising.

“This explains why they prioritize advertisers. ”

He also said that Facebook was an essential part of the marketing strategy of criminals because “it gives them access to millions of people with just one click”.

MPs called on the government to add paid ads to the upcoming online security bill.

A spokesperson for Meta, Facebook’s parent organization, said, “Our policies prohibit the promotion of these items.

“Our app is never perfect, but we’re always making improvements. “

Ads for guns, ammunition and illegal drugs were also found targeting the Russian public (stock image)

Ads for guns, ammunition and illegal drugs were also found targeting the Russian public (stock image)

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