It’s apparently easier than ever to make like Neely O’Hara and hoard red pills, blue pills, all the pills, just by clicking a mouse. Thanks again, Internet.
The National Association of Attorneys General say a plethora of prescription drugs and their counterfeit counterparts are available online, and it’s partly Google’s fault.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood charges that Google is still running (and presumably accepting payment for) ads for illegal online pharmacies, as reported in USA Today – all this despite Google already having paid $500 million in 2011 to settle Justice Department charges over ads for fake pharmacies.
The gigantic search engine also isn’t doing much to keep pill purveyors’ websites from popping up in searches, the NAAG alleges.
Google says it’s trying to curb the activity. From USA Today:
“‘We take the safety of our users very seriously and we’ve explained to Attorney General Hood how we enforce policies to combat rogue online pharmacies and counterfeit drugs,’ Google said in a statement late Thursday. ‘In the last two years, we’ve removed more than 3 million ads for illegal pharmacies, and we routinely remove videos that are flagged for violating YouTube’s Guidelines regarding dangerous or illegal content.’”
The attorneys insist, though, that it’s not even hard to find digital pharmacies through Google.
In addition to the NAAG complaints, a separate advocacy group called Digital Citizens Alliance will release a report on Monday about how YouTube fosters drug use by having become a haven for how-to vids, some of which contain links to drug-selling sites, reports USA Today. Well, how else are teenagers supposed to learn to roll joints? The ads on YouTube are content-related, meaning an ad for managing chronic back pain will appear on a video explaining how to buy painkillers without a prescription, USA Today reports. Convenient!
The party poopers at NAAG have reportedly invited Google CEO Larry Page to come have a chin wag about the issue at a national meeting of the attorneys general (sounds like a riot!) on June 17, but Mr. Page hasn’t yet responded to the invitation.
While Google and the attorneys sort this out, remember kids: drugs are bad.
[H/T USA Today]