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Facebook ignores drug trafficking problems unless it absolutely has to step in

Apparently violent drug cartels aren’t worthy of removal from the platform.

facebook ceo mark zuckerberg
Image: KnowTechie

Yet again, Facebook has proven that it doesn’t really care about people with the revelation of how it handles – or fails to handle – the rampant drug trafficking that’s present on the platform.

As part of The Wall Street Journal’s scathing Facebook Files, some of the company’s internal documents show that it has failed to combat drug traffickers, even when they’re specifically identified by employees.

In the Journal’s report on the drug trafficking issues on Facebook, dozens of the company’s internal documents were analyzed and they showed the company’s lackluster response to these issues.

One specific document referred to a report filed by a Facebook employee expressing concerns over a Mexican drug cartel. That employee, a former police officer turned Facebook investigator, had identified many profiles associated with a specific drug cartel on both Facebook and Instagram.

The report noted that the employee and his team had found violent messages and posts threatening injury and even death. Instead of removing these profiles completely, Facebook instead opted to remove some of the violent content tied to the group.

Just nine days after the report was filed, a new profile connected with the cartel popped up and continued to spew its violent rhetoric.

Most of the issues in the Journal’s report indicate a lack of moderation in lesser developed areas where Facebook is becoming more prominent.

Groups like drug cartels, human trafficking, and militant groups are becoming prominent on the platform. Former Facebook VP Brian Boland said the company views these issues as, “simply the cost of doing business.”

That revelation, combined with Instagram’s head Adam Mosseri’s recent comments basically saying death is necessary for social media to succeed, just help show that Facebook and its peers only care about people as much as they can help their platforms thrive.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at

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