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#BBCtrending: How drugs are offered on Instagram

Instagram, the photo and video sharing network owned by Facebook, is usually associated with light-hearted 'selfie' photos, or amusing memes.

But it also has a darker side, and has become a marketplace for a wide range of illicit goods. So long as you know the right hashtags to search.

Thousands of pictures showing drugs on offer can be found on Instagram by searching keywords.

In response to this investigation by #BBCTrending, Instagram has blocked searches for certain terms associated with the suspected illegal sale of drugs via its service.

"Instagram has a clear set of rules about what is and isn't allowed on the site," a spokeswoman told the BBC.

"We encourage people who come across illegal or inappropriate content to report it to us using the built-in reporting tools next to every photo, video or comments, so we can take action."

"People can't buy things on Instagram, we are simply a place where people share photos and videos."

BBC Trending is a hand-picked selection of stories trending on social media around the world. Have you seen an interesting trend? Tweet us using #BBCtrending

  • 07 Nov 2013
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