Forget phone numbers graffitied onto phone boxes and bus stops - you can swipe right for drugs these days.
Blessed by obscurity and relative anonymity, drug dealers are turning to apps like Tinder and Instagram in order to connect with the services' young users.
According to a report by The Guardian's Leah Borromeo, Instagram users looking for a deal are finding increasing results by searching for numerous hashtags (literally) to identify an account owner with something to sell. Deals can then be made via direct messages, with online cash transfer services often used to take care of payments.
Searches on Instagram for #weed, #weed4sale, #mdma and similarly inventive hashtags (actually, #hash might work) return a number of profiles that claim to be selling the related substance.
On services such as Tinder, users have to be a bit more patient, scanning user bios for any mention of drugs for sale. Face-to-face deals can then be organised via the chat function.
Despite knowing about the practice, there are no firm statistics provided by Instagram nor Tinder on how many dealers are using its services - relying on users to report any illegal activity.
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