Facebook partners with University of Alabama to end online drug sales

Harrison Cook - Print  | 

The University of Alabama at Birmingham announced Nov. 13, its Computer Forensics Research Lab will partner with Facebook to monitor online violations of its community standards for illicit drug sales.

"Our partnership with Facebook has grown from identifying spam to antiterrorism work and now combating drug sales online," said Gary Warner, director of research in computer forensics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Our students receive hands-on learning in monitoring online communities to identify and develop a database of terms attempted by bad actors to skirt detection. These key terms will be used within the coalition to fight drug sales across multiple platforms."

The University of Alabama at Birmingham's forensics research lab works close with the university's forensics science program and is able to perform drug analysis with specialty equipment. The lab  can search up to 350 terms for fentanyl, including academic, medical and journalistic mentions of the drug. Both centers are able to target and find online illicit drug sales through searchable phrases.

Click here to read Facebook's  announcement of the partnership.

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