Facebook Is Running Ads for an Addictive Drug That’s Banned in Numerous Countries

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Facebook is running ads for an addictive drug that’s banned in numerous countries, in yet another situation that underlines the spotty content moderation on the social media platform.

The drug is phenibut, a psychoactive substance first cooked up in Russia in the 1960s to treat anxiety and insomnia. But because it’s habit forming, it’s been banned by countries ranging from Germany to Australia.

In America, phenibut can be bought and sold, but not as medication or as a dietary supplement. That’s probably why Science.bio, which has been running Facebook ads selling the substance, includes fine print on its website stating that phenibut is “sold for laboratory research use only” and is “not for human consumption, nor medical, veterinary, or household uses.”

That’s laughable, of course, because the vast majority of products on Science.bio’s website are supplements for longevity and nootropics.

Another shady thing about the company, which is also marketed under the name Botany Biosciences, is that the FDA sent a warning letter to the lab that it contracts for testing, slamming it for shoddy record keeping and other violations. Reddit users also flagged the company for mislabeling products.

Emailed questions to Facebook’s parent company Meta and Science.bio went unanswered.

It’s not just phenibut that’s being sold in the free-for-all atmosphere on the social media platform. Canada’s National Post reported back in March that Facebook also allows ads for LSD, mushrooms and other illegal substances.

Besides controlled substances that could land you in jail in certain places, Facebook is rife with super weird AI generated art and pedophiles exchanging pics of underage children, highlighting the general toxicity of the platform.

As for the drugs, a Meta spokesperson told reporters at National Post that those ads are not allowed and also took down those ads the news outlet flagged. But those ads were still there a day after Meta sent its comments to reporters.

Coupled with that situation and this recent phenibut ad, Facebook increasingly feels like the online equivalent of a dark alleyway. Be careful out there, people.

More on drug addiction: California May Pay People With Addiction to Stay Sober

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This post was originally published on Futurism

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