Snapchat is being sued by the parents of a 14-year-old who died after taking a fentanyl-laced pill he bought on the app.
According to court documents, Amy and Aaron Neville, along with a slew of other parents, are suing the company. The parents are claiming that Snapchat “facilitates the overwhelming majority of lethal fentanyl sales.”
The lawsuit alleges the app explicitly targets children and illicit activity. For example, the suit points out features like disappearing messages that make it difficult to trace illegal drug transactions.
“Snap provides no reporting mechanism or staffed email address,” the suit states. “Even a phone number for users to report underage, dangerous, or violating use of its social media product.
The app says they have been working to eliminate the issue. To combat this, Snapchat claims they’re putting in efforts to ban drug dealer accounts and blocking search results that involve drug keywords.
“We are committed to bringing every resource to bear to help fight this national crisis,” a rep for the company says. “Both on Snapchat and across the tech industry overall.”
The rep adds that the company uses, “cutting-edge technology to proactively find and shut down drug dealers’ accounts. We block search results for drug-related terms. Instead redirecting Snapchatters to resources from experts about the dangers of fentanyl.”