Families of Fentanyl Overdose Victims Take on Snapchat: A Battle for Accountability

Families of Fentanyl Overdose Victims Take on Snapchat: A Battle for Accountability
Photo by Alexander Shatov / Unsplash

The families of more than 60 young people who died of fentanyl overdoses have filed a lawsuit against Snapchat's parent company, Snap, alleging that the social media app's algorithm helped connect their children with drug dealers. This blog post will discuss the families' claims, Snapchat's response, and the potential implications of this case for social media platforms moving forward.

Familes of fentanyl overdoses are pictured protesting Snapchat
Sixty-five families are suing Snapchat after their young loved ones died of fentanyl overdoses from drug dealers they allegedly met on the social media app.AP

Filed in October in Los Angeles and updated in April, the lawsuit accuses Snap of prioritizing profit over recognizing that their app had become an "open-air drug market." The families argue that Snapchat has become the go-to platform for distributing drugs to children, teens, and young adults, contributing to a significant number of fentanyl poisoning deaths among U.S. teens compared to other social media apps.

The suit points to Snapchat's key feature, where messages between users are automatically deleted, as a design that drug dealers exploit. According to the families, this feature is marketed for those engaging in criminal activities they wish to keep concealed. They also claim that Snap actively "frustrates law enforcement's efforts" to prosecute suspects by notifying drug dealers of subpoenas or legal requests and taking months to respond to requests for account information.

Snap has vehemently denied the allegations in the lawsuit, stating that it is "riddled with false claims about how the Snapchat app works" and ignores the company's efforts to combat drug activity on its platform. In October, Snap launched an informational campaign on the dangers of fentanyl and reached approximately 375 million users in 2020. The company also highlights its reach among 13 to 24-year-olds in 20 countries in North America, stating that Snapchat reaches 90% of this demographic.

This lawsuit brings attention to the responsibilities and accountability of social media platforms in preventing and combating illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, on their networks. As the case proceeds, it may prompt other platforms to reevaluate their policies and features to ensure they do not inadvertently facilitate illegal transactions.

I love Snapchat
Photo by Thought Catalog / Unsplash

Moreover, the outcome of this case could potentially set a precedent for future legal battles involving social media platforms and their role in criminal activities. It raises critical questions about the extent to which these platforms can and should be held accountable for user behavior and the potential harm that can be caused by their features and algorithms.

The families of the fentanyl overdose victims are fighting for accountability, seeking justice for their lost loved ones, and aiming to prevent further tragedies. As this case unfolds, it underscores the importance of social media platforms taking responsibility for their role in facilitating illegal activities and ensuring the safety and well-being of their users. The outcome of this lawsuit could have far-reaching implications for the future of social media and its regulation.

📲
We may earn commissions from ads and links on this page.

Disclaimer: Some information on this site may be considered attorney advertising under your state’s laws and ethical rules. This legal news site and its content is for general information only and is not legal advice. Information on this site may be incomplete or out-of-date.

No attorney-client relationship is created between you and any attorney who publishes content or online forms on this site. Hiring a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.

📓
RELATED STORIES

YouTube Star’s Mother Facing $22 Million Lawsuit: The Piper Rockelle Squad’s Fight for Justice
As a community of mothers who strive for justice and the protection of our children, we at Moms Justice want to shed light on a recent lawsuit involving the mother of 15-year-old YouTube star Piper Rockelle. Tiffany Smith is being sued for a staggering $22 million by 11 minors from
Clergy sex abuse suits could bankrupt the San Diego diocese.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego said Friday it might declare bankruptcy in the coming months as it faces “staggering” legal costs in dealing with some 400 lawsuits alleging priests and others sexually abused children. In a letter to parishioners, Bishop Robert McElroy said the cases were f…
If you were a Facebook user in the United States between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022, inclusive, you might be eligible for a cash payment from a Class Action Settlement.
Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly known as Facebook, has reached a settlement in a $725 million class action lawsuit, making it the single largest data privacy class action in U.S. history. The lawsuit alleged that Facebook shared user data with third parties without obtaining permission from its user…