Thursday January 24, 2019
Home Science & Technology Twitter used ...

Twitter used by illegal online pharmacies to pedal drugs

0
//

New York: Illegal online pharmacies are using Twitter to promote prescription drug abuse of controlled substances.

“This study is the first to establish an empirical link between Twitter content and illicit online pharmacies which promote the illegal sale of drugs that have significant abuse potential,” said study co-author Timothy Mackey from University of California-San Diego.

“Our results are concerning, as the study found over 45,000 tweets that promoted drug abuse even though we only looked at a two-week period of tweets,” Mackey added.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), young adults are the biggest abusers of prescription opioid pain relievers, ADHD stimulants, and anti-anxiety drugs.

The study conducted surveillance and content analysis of over two million tweets using the Twitter public streaming application programming interface and used assisted machine learning.

Tweets were analysed to determine if they discussed drug abuse issues, whether they favourably promoted drug abuse behaviour, and were also examined to see if they directly enabled the illegal access to controlled substances by online pharmacies.

Mackey said the study findings are extremely troubling.

“When we examined links included in a subset of the tweets that discussed drug abuse, we discovered that 76 percent of these tweets included a link to an online marketing affiliate advertising the sale of the controlled substance valium, a tranquillizer that is commonly abused,” he said.

Buying prescription drugs from illegal online pharmacies also endanger consumers financial information, putting them at risk of identity theft, according to experts.

The study was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR). (IANS) (image courtesy:wsjgadjets.ndtv.com)

Next Story

Social Media Giants Facebook, Twitter Face Action From Russia Over Legal Violations

After no responses, the agency said that "Roskomnadzor begins administrative proceedings against both companies", reported The Wall Street Journal

0
Facebook, data, vietnam
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

Accusing Facebook and Twitter of defying the law of the land, the Russian government has opened legal proceedings against the social media giants for not complying to local data protection laws.

According to a report in RT.com late Monday, Roskomnadzor, the Russian censorship agency, said that Facebook and Twitter failed to comply with a law requiring all servers that store personal data to be located in the country.

“The tech giants instead handed ‘formal answers’ to the authorities’ previous inquiries. The agency also pledged to take legal action against the internet companies,” said the report.

Russian privacy laws require foreign online service providers to store users’ personal data on servers located within the country.

Twitter, India, Smartphone
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

“Facebook and Twitter are reportedly negotiating the issue with Russian authorities, as the companies have not yet moved their servers to Russia,” added the report.

Roskomnadzor sent letters to Facebook and Twitter on December 17, giving them 30 days to provide “a legally valid response”.

Also Read- The Great U.S. Government Shutdown

After no responses, the agency said that “Roskomnadzor begins administrative proceedings against both companies”, reported The Wall Street Journal. (IANS)