Facebook hoax: ALL PARENTS PLEEEASE BE AWARE!!

Summary:Scammers are pushing a hoax on Facebook, warning users that drug dealers are giving colored and flavored crystal meth to children. While such forms of meth do exist, the story is a hoax.

Facebook users are inadvertently spreading a hoax on the social network, telling each other that drug dealers are selling colored and flavored crystal methamphetamine known as "Strawberry Quick" to children. This story is false.

The claim is typically phrased as follows:

ALL PARENTS PLEEEASE BE AWARE!! …There is a drug going around the schools …Its known as Strawberry Quick …or strawberry meth …it looks like pop rocks kids eat & also smells like strawberries & also comes in other flavors like chocolate ect … Pleeease tell your children not to take candy from anyone even a class mate because this drug that looks like pop rocks is actually crystal meth rocked up with strawberry flavor & can kill them :’( …PLEASE REPOST!!! so all parents are aware of this …Thank You! This is happening all over the country

This one is slightly different and a bit shorter:

PARENTS PLEEEASE BE AWARE... there is a drug going around in the schools- its known as STRAWBERRY QUICK... OR STRAWBERRY METH. it looks like pop rocks kids eat & also smells like strawberries & also comes in other flavors like chocolate, ect. PLEEEASE tell ur children not to take candy from anyone even a class mate because this drug that looks like pop rocks is actually crystal meth with strawberry flavor & can kill them. PLEASE REPOST SO ALL PARENTS CAN BE AWARE

This hoax is spreading like wildfire on Facebook, despite there being any actual information. You should notice the message does not include a link to an article or police report detailing such actions. Facecrooks has summarized the facts; although it notes that the hoax is unfounded and exaggerated, it is technically possible:

  1. No cases of children using flavored Meth have been verified.
  2. There can be different colors of Crystal Meth, so it is possible that some varieties could easily be pink and resemble Strawberry Quick, Pop Rocks, or other substances. Color variations can be intentional or due to the manufacturing processes employed.
  3. Drug dealers could add flavoring substances to make the drug more appealing and to mask the taste of the harsh chemicals used in the manufacturing process.
  4. Drug dealers have been known to target children in the past. They are the dregs of society and obviously have no regard for the safety and wellbeing of others. Morality is a complex issue, and of course there are drug dealers that would not purposefully target children, but it can and does happen.
  5. Michael Sanders, of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, has stated, "It's not a trend or a real problem."

As a general word of caution, don't believe everything you read on the Internet. Also, don't blindly copy and paste warnings just because your Facebook friend's status tells you to do so. Although you probably mean well, you could be helping a hoax become more popular on the social network.

See also:

Topics: Social Enterprise

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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