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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Politics

Drug cartels targeting teens on social media could spur Section 230 action

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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Drug cartels are targeting young adults and teenagers by advertising on social media. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are so concerned, it could lead to action on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The controversial provision shields social media companies from liability for content that’s posted on their sites.

“The cartels that are creating these pills and that are distributing them within the United States are the most horrid individuals you can imagine. And unfortunately they are doing it on social media, advertising as if they are prescription pills,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said during a hearing Wednesday.

Garland said the Drug Enforcement Administration has tried to work with social media companies to crack down on this, but it has not been very effective.

“Miss Whigham [sic] told me that when they approach the social media and ask for the algorithm so they can get to the root cause of this death and destruction, the social media platforms plead Section 230 and refuse. What do we do?” Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., asked.

Durbin mistakenly said Whigham when referring to DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. 

“I think we do have to do something to force them to provide information to search their own platforms for the sales of illegal drugs,” Garland answered.

“I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I think Section 230 has become a suicide pact. We have basically told these companies you are absolved from liability, make money,” Durbin responded. 

Garland’s testimony comes as the House heard from mothers who have lost their children to fentanyl overdoses. Rebecca Kiessling lost two sons and called on Congress to do more.

“Never forget about all those who are being slaughtered. This is a war. Act like it. Do something,” Kiessling said.

To combat what Kiessling described as a war, some senators want to designate drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations. That would allow the government to impose sanctions and freeze their assets.

“I wouldn’t oppose it, but again, I want to point out there are diplomatic concerns. We need the assistance of Mexico in this, and designating…” Garland said before Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., jumped in.

“Is Mexico helping us effectively with our fentanyl problem,” Graham asked.

“They are helping us but they could do much more. There’s no question about that,” Garland answered.

“Well if this is helping, I would hate to see what not helping looks like,” Graham replied.

Garland also told the committee fentanyl should be listed as a Schedule I drug permanently. Under current law, fentanyl will lose its Schedule I status this year.

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Drug cartels are targeting young adults and teenagers by advertising on social media. And members of the Senate judiciary committee are so concerned, it could lead to action on section 230 of the communications decency act which shields social media companies from liability for content that’s posted on their sites. 

 

Garland: “The cartels that are creating these pills and that are distributing them within the united states are the most horrid individuals you can imagine, and unfortunately they are doing it on social media, advertising as if they are prescription pills.” 

 

During a committee hearing Wednesday, the Attorney General said the DEA has tried to work with social media companies to crack down on this, but it has not been very effective. 

 

Durbin “Miss Wigham told me that when they approach the social media and ask for the algorithm so they can get to the root cause of this death and destruction, the social media platforms plead section 230 and refuse. What do we do?” 

 

Garland: “I think we do have to do something to force them to provide information to search their own platforms for the sales of the drugs. “

 

Durbin: “I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I think Section 230 has become a suicide pact. We have basically told these companies you are absolved from liability, make money.” 

 

Garland’s testimony comes as the House heard from mothers who have lost their children to fentanyl overdoses. Rebecca Kiessling lost two sons and called on Congress to do more. 

 

Rebecca Kiessling: “To never forget about all those who are being slaughtered. This is a war. Act like it, do something.”

 

To combat what Kiessling described as a war, some Senators want to designate drug cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations. That would allow the government to impose sanctions and freeze their assets. 

Graham: “Would you oppose some of us trying to make them foreign terrorist organizations?” 

 

Garland “I wouldn’t oppose it but again I want to point out there are diplomatic concerns. We need the assistance of Mexico in this, and designating…”

 

Graham: “Is Mexico helping us effectively with our fentanyl problem?” 

 

Garland: “They are helping us but they could do much more. There’s no question about that.” 

 

Graham: “Well if this is helping, I would hate to see what not helping looks like.” 

Garland also told the committee fentanyl should be listed as a schedule one drug permanently. Under current law, Fentanyl will lose its schedule one status this year. Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan.