Quoted: on Instagram, witnesses, crime and more

“We will get you in time.”

from a post by Instagram account rats215. The account — which the Philadelphia Inquirer reports has outed more than 30 witnesses to crimes since February — became inaccessible late last week. The Instagram account posted testimony, photos, sometimes secret evidence and police statements to about 7,900 followers. Authorities are looking for the account holder.

In other news about Instagram and the law, the Facebook-owned company has become a go-to place for black (and gray) markets for drugs and guns. (Although Instagram does not officially allow for transactions, merchants post photos of their wares on the site.) It’s relatively easy to find posts about a cough-syrup-based drug called “lean,” plus marijuana and methadone. Hashtags include “leanstagram” and “marijuanagram.”

And legislators are calling on Instagram to ban enabling the sale of guns on its site, saying sellers could be providing guns to youths, or without doing background checks, according to the New York Daily News.

“We need a clear picture of how gun sales are conducted and transacted through Instagram in order to keep dangerous weapons out of the wrong hands and off our streets,” Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., reportedly said in a letter last week to social media companies.


Photo of Instagram icon from Instagram.com


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