On Thursday, Snapchat said that they are going to launch an in-app tool that will educate users searching for drug-related keywords on Snapchat about the dangers of taking drugs, and also they will be working on different tools for parents to help keep teenagers safe on the service.
This step is taken after the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a public safety alert last week about an increase in fake prescription pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine often sold on social media and e-commerce sites.
This summer Snapchat had already faced a protest at its headquarters from parents of children who had died after taking counterfeit pills. Snapchat said that it had in the last year grown its team that handles law enforcement requests to improve response times.
On Thursday in a blog post, Snapchat said, “We have heard devastating stories from families impacted by this crisis, including cases where fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills were purchased from drug dealers on Snapchat. We will work tirelessly to do better and do more to keep our community safe”.
Snapchat has also developed a new video advertisement campaign and a new filter to raise awareness of the dangers of fentanyl and counterfeit pills.
Ed Ternan, whose son died from taking a fentanyl-laced pill that he bought from a dealer he found on Snapchat said, “Our first priority was to warn the kids that these counterfeit pills have flooded the US market”.