ACCOUNTS advertising the sale of illegal drugs in Darlington have been removed by Instagram after an investigation by The Northern Echo - but dozens remain to operate on the social media site. 

Dozens of drug dealers are using the site as a platform to advertise their business, an investigation by this newspaper found.

Images of white powders, pills and cannabis were visible after a simple search on the popular social media platform.

But after being contacted about criminals brazenly advertising kilos of drugs, the social media giant removed several profiles for breaking their rules.

Read more: Drug dealers advertising class A drugs in Darlington on Instagram

The company - owned by Meta - claims its technology can detect content that includes images of drugs, as well as indications of an intention to sell.

And it says its working with local law enforcement to crackdown on the accounts which blight the popular platform. 

However, despite removing the accounts raised by The Northern Echo dozens continue to operate on the site undetected.  

'We removed the accounts flagged'

A spokesperson for Meta said: "We have removed the three accounts flagged. Buying and selling drugs is strictly against our rules and we don’t want it on Instagram. 

"We use a mix of technology and human review to remove this content as quickly as possible, and found over 97 per cent of the drug sales content we removed between July and September before anyone reported it. 

"We’re constantly working to get better at detection, and we’ll continue working with law enforcement and youth organisations to help support our community and keep drug sales off Instagram.”


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