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US drug trafficking experts have revealed the hidden meaning behind emoji used by dealers to secretly communicate with teens.
The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) says seemingly innocent icons are being misused across social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.
Things as normal as the crystal ball, a diamond, a test tube and even a blue heart mean something completely different in criminal circles.
These are all code for meth, experts claim.
The dragon emoji and brown heart are also not what they seem.
They can mean heroin.
Meanwhile, cocaine has several emoji guises, from a simple snowflake or a snowman, to the more obscure billiards 8-ball, a key and a blowfish too.
You’ll know if a dealer is advertising when they use either money-related emoji, such as the sack of cash, but less obvious ones include the crown and the plug socket.
The lightening bolt and sweets emoji take a sinister turn as well, meaning MDMA and mollies.
Elsewhere, weed can be identified with the gush of wind, flame, palm tree, Christmas tree and four leaf clover emoji.
The DEA says these emoji are common examples found in their investigations.
“Criminal drug networks are abusing social media to expand their reach, create new markets, and target new clientele,” the agency warned.
“This includes by selling deadly fake fentanyl and methamphetamine pills, often to unsuspecting teenagers, young adults, and older Americans, who think they are buying the real thing.
“Posts and stories are often accompanied by known code words and emojis that are used to market and sell illicit and deadly drugs on social media.
“These code words and emojis are designed to evade detection by law enforcement and by the preset algorithms used by social media platforms.”
Some of the emoji are more obvious, such as the mushroom.
The cookie also has a special definition for ‘large batch’.
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