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Instagram Blocks Hashtags Related To Selling Drugs

A discovery by the BBC pushes Instagram to censor content that could make it a drug store.

[Image: Flickr user e-Magine Art]

Instagram has blocked the use of certain hashtags that may be related to the sale of illegal drugs on its social network.

Before the block, a BBC news team had been investigating the practice of tweeting photos of drug paraphernalia and then gently soliciting potential buyers to get in touch. The online drugs trade is in flux after the closure of the Silk Road. Vendors have apparently been using Instagram pics to show off their wares and invite contact from buyers, who then conclude the deal through a more private IM service such as WhatsApp or Kik.

In a statement to the BBC, Instagram noted users were not allowed to post content that was illegal, and pointed out that "People can't buy things on Instagram, we are simply a place where people share photos and videos."

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