Facebook Drug Task Force Now Monitoring All Posts-Fiction!

Facebook Drug Task Force Now Monitoring All Posts-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:
A new Facebook Drug Task Force monitors all posts and reports illegal drug activity to authorities.
The Truth:
A fake news website is behind the false reports of a new Facebook Drug Task Force.
National Report, a website that published fake news stories, reported that the Facebook Drug Task Force would be launched on October 1:

Beginning October 1st, Facebook will be implementing a drug task force designed to arrest those who buy and sell narcotics while using the online social networking site. Facebook is calling the group the Facebook Drug Task Force, or FDTF, and will be monitoring all postings and messages created by its users.

Chairman and chief executive of Facebook, Inc., Mark Zuckerberg, spoke with CNN about the FDTF. “The task force was created to keep users of Facebook safe,” Zucckerberg said. “The FDTF will be working directly with the Drug Enforcement Agency and local law enforcement agencies. We’re gonna put away the bad guys.”

National Report has become known for duping readers into believing that the fictitious and satirical stories it publishes are true. But, according to the website’s disclaimer, that’s not the case:

National Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within National Report are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental. Advice given is NOT to be construed as professional. If you are in need of professional help, please consult a professional. National Report is not intended for children under the age of 18.

But many people missed the memo and panicked when they read that previous posts about drugs could make their way to the DEA. High Times reported that hoards of “rattled readers and stupefied stoners” had emailed the magazine with concerns about the false report:

Perhaps fueled by the already controversial nature of Facebook’s latest messenger upgrade, which has many users in upheaval over privacy issues, the news of Mark Zuckerberg and his computer cops planning to bust people who use Facebook to communicate with their drug dealers caused the story to go viral and of course, panic ensued.

It did not take long before the HIGH TIMES inbox was full of emails from rattled readers and stupefied stoners, some of who believe that George Orwell may have been the first prophet since Jesus Christ, and that big brother was going in for the kill. However, while we certainly appreciate the paranoid enthusiasm, nothing The National Report publishes is real news. Therefore, there is no reason to delete your Facebook account over fears that a Social Media SWAT Team will swoop in at the first mention of weed.

Still, that doesn’t mean that Facebook users can post about drugs with impunity. There are many reports from across the country of actual drug task forces making arrests after reading about drug use Facebook, like this one from suburban Milwaukee:

A 17-year-old has been arrested and charged with drug possession after a friend posted on the teen’s Facebook page that he needed drugs.

A police officer also recognized the two from a video of a drug party in June.

A Greenfield police officer was patrolling in his car Aug. 30 when he noticed two men he recognized from his assignment as a police school liaison officer at Greenfield High School. Earlier in the day, he had seen one of them post a statement on the other’s Facebook page that indicated he wanted drugs. The teen behind the page, Justin J. Cervera, had replied, asking the guy to call him.

The same officer had previously seen a video of the two apparently smoking marijuana with other juveniles in June 2011, called “Reefer party for my birthday.”

He stopped the two on the street and Cervera emptied his pockets, revealing a white prescription bottle with drugs. Cervera was arrested and was charged Thursday with possession of narcotics and marijuana. He faces up to four years in prison and $11,000 in fines.

So, there isn’t Facebook Drug Task Force, but there are plenty of drug task forces that use social media to find and arrest people who post about drugs.