Monday, November 7, 2016

Open drug market on Facebook's Messenger App

Winnipeg's drug scene is using secret group conversations via Facebook's Messenger App to score everything from fentanyl to crack and everything in between CBC News has reported. "It's all there, hiding in plain sight," said one participant "Deals are being made day and night, all over the city."

CBC News took an inside look into two group Messenger conversations titled "Wpg drug mart" and "ChOp ShOp." They're accessible by invitation only through a Facebook account. Once inside, members enter an online marketplace where they post messages to buy and sell whatever drugs they can get.
Not surprisingly, stolen goods are also for sale and there's something for just about everyone: Samsung phones, Gucci purses, brass knuckles and even baby formula.

In most cases, a single click on the Messenger's profile image sent one directly to that person's Facebook profile. In some cases, members even posted their cellphone numbers. They seem to operate with impunity, only a handful of authorities throughout the world have cracked down on them.
A Facebook spokesman told CBC News the social networking site investigates any reports of illegal activity. Detecting and shutting down secret group conversations can be a mammoth task. Facebook's more than 1.7 billion members could be involved in just about anything. The turnover rate of these group Messenger conversations is high. They open, shut down and pop up again under new names regularly.

A Facebook spokesman confirmed that in response to CBC's story, Facebook is now 'investigating' the chat groups.