Robert F. Lawlor Jr, MS-ADPP, MS, BSCJ (Drug Intelligence Officer, New England HIDTA), explains how easily social media algorithms deliver drug content to children at #AskTheExperts webinar “Social Media, Drugs, and Youth: What Parents Need to Know” on February 15, 2023.

[Robert Lawlor]: Social media – a lot of it has to do with the algorithms. And social medla algorithms send drug content to your kids. And in 2021, the Wall Street Journal did an investigation where they created fake accounts of children who were supposed to be 13 to 15. And one account got over 569 videos of drug use which included cocaine and methamphetamine.These Internet companles and these social media companies, they just send these videos and drug dealers right to your kids in your own living room through their mobile devices. And It’s pretty scary. Instagram also banned some drug-related hashtags like “#MDMA” which is for the party drug ecstasy. But again, Instagram is a bad actor. If teens search for “#MDMA,” Instagram will autofill alternative hashtags for the sarne drug into the search bar and bring the children right to these videos and these Instagram stories.

View the full webinar

Ask the Experts—Webinar

Social Media and Drugs: What Parents Need to Know

A glimpse into the world of teens and drugs on social media, and practical information to increase awareness and ability to safeguard adolescents and teens

Social Media
Physical Health