Facebook cracks down on opioid-based hashtags on Instagram: 5 things to know

Days after FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, criticized social media companies for not doing enough to prevent the sale of opioids, Facebook, the parent company of Instagram, has cracked down on hashtags relating to the drug, according to CBS News.

Here are five things to know.

1. Facebook has shut down or controlled the use of various drug hashtags on Instagram, including #fentanyl, #oxycontin, #opioids and more.

2. A search for #oxycontin shows no results on the photo-based social media platform. While a search for #fentanyl had a few posts, a search for the hashtag resulted in a message stating that current or recent posts "are hidden because the community has reported some content that may not meet Instagram's community guidelines," according to CBS.

3. Instagram's "community guidelines make it clear that buying or selling prescription drugs isn't allowed on Instagram and we have zero tolerance when it comes to content that puts the safety of our community at risk," a company spokesperson told CBS.

4. The move comes just days after Dr. Gottlieb blamed technology companies for their role in the nation's opioid epidemic in a speech April 4 at the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit. The FDA chief called on these tech companies to be more vigilant in monitoring the way illegal opioids are advertised on their platforms, claiming the agency found offers to purchase opioids on a number of the tech giant's websites. 

5. Despite the removal of some opioid-related hashtags, others still remain.

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