Posted: Mon 24th Jul 2023

BBC Wales exposes drug dealers targeting children on Snapchat

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jul 24th, 2023

Snapchat, one of the world’s most popular social media platforms, is under scrutiny following a BBC Wales investigation that reveals how drug dealers can easily target children on the platform.

The findings are set to be broadcast in a new episode of BBC Wales Investigates on BBC One Wales this evening, Monday 24 July at 8pm.

Reporter Charanpreet Khaira set up a fake account on Snapchat, posing as a 15-year-old girl. Alarmingly, she was offered drugs within minutes.

Despite never searching for drugs or criminality, Snapchat’s suggested friends included people claiming to be drug dealers.

Snapchat responded to the findings, stating that it is illegal to use their platform to buy or sell drugs, and they proactively moderate content to detect and prevent any dealing.

[Charanpreet Khaira/BBC]

 

The investigation also includes an interview with a young woman, referred to as ‘Anna’ for her safety, who reveals how she was groomed on Snapchat by a member of an Eastern European drugs gang.

Anna was just a teenager when she was drawn into the world of drug gangs.

It started with a friend request on Snapchat from a young man she’d met on a night out.

Anna thought she was entering a relationship.

But the man had other ideas and soon, he was forcing Anna to deal drugs.

The gang used fear to control and manipulate Anna, and they plied her with drugs – but it came at a cost. Anna felt trapped by a debt that she’d never be able to pay off.

The investigation raises serious concerns about child safety on Snapchat and highlights the urgent need for more robust measures to protect young users from such threats.

BBC Wales Investigates – ‘Snaptrap: Is Your Child Safe?’ airs on Monday, 24 July at 8pm on BBC One Wales and iPlayer.

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