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Local child advocacy groups make push for apps like TikTok and Snapchat to be monitored

Drugs being sold on social media apps
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Posted at 6:26 AM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 11:19:17-04

Parents, if your children are using TikTok and Snapchat, child advocacy groups want you to know pills are being sold on these apps and there is no way for you to monitor your child's interactions with potential drug dealers.

"It's negligence, it is pure negligence on the part of Evan Spiegel on behalf of Snapchat," says Katey McPherson, a child mental health advocate who has been working to get this message out to parents.

McPherson says unlike other social media platforms, the two mentioned above do not allow third-party apps such as Bark to monitor conversations kids are having on these platforms and alert parents before it's too late.

"Boxes (with drugs) are coming to our homes, we have several local parents whose kids have purchased on Snapchat who are no longer with us," adds McPherson.

Shane Watson is a spokesperson with NotMyKid and says the problem with pills like Xanax that are sold to kids on social media is that they are being laced with the deadly drug fentanyl.

Shane Watson says, "If they get 2 mg or more of fentanyl which is the lethal dose for an average size adult male, that's gonna go from a high to a fatality. Pair that with the lethal dose of heroin being 30 mg. It takes 30mg of heroin to kill someone, it takes 2 mg of fentanyl and that is incredibly troubling."

McPherson says a striker bill has been introduced at the state legislature. If it were to pass, it would make it a law that platforms like Snapchat and TikTok allow third party apps to monitor conversations in underage users, which are the main target audience.

"It's not a heavy lift, it would take an engineer at Snapchat nearly an hour to allow parents to protect," adds McPherson.