Updated March 16th, 2024 at 18:26 IST

Meta comes under US scanner for role in illicit drug sales

The prosecutors have been asking questions as part of a criminal grand jury probe.

Reported by: Business Desk
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Meta under US scanner: US-based prosecutors in Virginia have launched a probe to ascertain whether Facebook-parent Meta's social media platforms had a role to play in the illegal sale of drugs, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. Citing documents and people familiar with the matter, the media report said Meta profited from the drugs sale. 

The prosecutors sent subpoenas last year and have been asking questions as part of a criminal grand jury probe, the report said, adding that they have also been requesting records related to drug content or illicit sale of drugs via Meta's platforms.

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The Food and Drug Administration has also been helping with the investigation, the newspaper added. It noted that investigations do not always lead to charges of wrongdoing.

The paper quoted a spokesman for Meta as saying in a statement: “The sale of illicit drugs is against our policies and we work to find and remove this content from our services”. “Meta proactively cooperates with law enforcement authorities to help combat the sale and distribution of illicit drugs,” he added. The prosecutors’ office and a spokeswoman for the FDA declined to comment to WSJ.

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Meta, the FDA and the Virginia Attorney General's office did not immediately respond to a Reuters' request for comment.

Meta's president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, said on social media platform X on Friday that Meta had joined up with the U.S. State Department, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Snapchat to help disrupt the sale of synthetic drugs online and educate users about the associated risks. 

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(With Reuters inputs) 

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Published March 16th, 2024 at 18:26 IST