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YouTube's loophole keeps sick drug vids on internet; POLITICIANS AND PARENTS DEMAND WEB GIANT TAKES DOWN SHOCK TUTORIALS KIDS WATCH UK FILMS OF ADDICTS TAKING HEROIN, ECSTASY & LSD.

Byline: Emily Hall EXCLUSIVE

CHILDREN as young as 12 are watching video tutorials on YouTube showing them how to take deadly class A drugs.

In the latest horrifying web trend, drug users are filming so-called "trip reports" which show them openly getting high on illegal substances.

The shock films on the social media site have been viewed millions of times, with youngsters born as recently as 2006 commenting on them.

Our investigators found videos posted by British YouTubers, or vloggers, taking deadly heroin, LSD and ecstasy and posting detailed user guides.

But when we informed YouTube, the company refused to remove the dangerous clips - and defended their decision because of a bizarre loophole.

They said of their policy: "We make exceptions for material with sufficient educational, documentary, news, scientific or artistic value."

MPs, drug charities and families of child drug death victims last night united to urge the company - worth more than PS30billion - to regulate its highly perilous illegal content.

Risk Kayleigh Rundle, whose 15-year-old sister Shakira Pellow died last week after taking ecstasy, said: "It is unbelievable that a company like YouTube would allow videos like this knowing that millions of children use it every day.

"The YouTubers are committing a crime in plain sight and getting away with it, while putting children at risk by making them think that taking drugs is safe.

"There needs to be more pressure from the Government on websites like this and YouTubers should be punished for what they are doing."

We found a series of videos showing users posing with ecstasy on their tongues and inserting needles into their bodies.

Some detail terrifying trips on psychoactive drugs Salvia Divinorum, LSD, MDMA, Ecstasy and magic mushrooms.

The users talk about dosages, where to get the drugs and the minuteby-minute effects they have on their bodies.

Many have hundreds of thou-sands of views plus thousands of approving comments and likes.

In the comments on one video which shows a potentially disturbing LSD trip, a young girl writes: "Your videos are so cool. I don't know why people are telling you to stop if you are happy do it."

On another video, a viewer who gives their date of birth as 2006, writes: "No one teaches you this stuff at school."

British YouTuber Drew Gilchrist is shown with an ecstasy tablet on his tongue while in another video he details taking LSD and collapsing because he couldn't see his own legs.

His video titled "Insane MDMA trip first time ecstasy trip report" has had 265,000 views.

In it he brags of how he was given a bag of 13 pills for PS10 and took four of them.

While the videos themselves don't carry advertising, they are accompanied by banners promoting other videos. This drives viewers towards related videos that contribute to YouTube's PS9 billion a year advertising revenue.

YouTube - which is owned by internet giant Google - told our investigators it is policy to prohibit any content promoting dangerous illegal activities. The firm puts age restrictions on videos which fall into the so-called "educational" category but it consists only of a guidance notice.

This will be of little comfort to the families of victims like Shakira Pellow of Redruth, Cornwall, who died in her mother's arms after taking ecstasy.

Her brave family released a photo of her final hours in hospital to make others aware of the dangers.

Shakira - like most schoolchildren - was a keen viewer of YouTube.

Her sister Kayleigh said: "To the people posting these videos I would say: please, please stop."

Yet users like Drew Gilchrist continue to post the shocking material.

In one drug-glorifying video he says: "Everything feels so good. The colours started changing slowly and stuff. It was really cool."

When asked whether he thought it was appropriate to show potentially young users the content, he said: "Tutorials exist on the internet. YouTube is nothing special."

Other videos on YouTube detail taking heroin and the best way to inject while one user takes hallucinogenic DMT while on a high dose of a LSD. They get around the content of their videos by claiming they are for information and harm reduction.

Safer Heroin Injecting, narrated by a British user named John Derricott, has had more than 300,000 views.

Another Brit, Anastasia May, discusses her first time taking LSD. She says: "I am not promoting or glorifying drugs in any way - I just thought it would make an entertaining life story for a story time video."

Another British drug user, named VEEONEEYE, reported his experience of taking LSD for two days at the Triplicity music festival in Wales. In one harrowing video he says he could envision himself killing his own dog after taking two tabs of acid on Valentine's Day 2016.

Footage shows him screaming and incapacitated on the side of the road as he pleads for the hallucinations to stop. A Home Office spokesperson told us: "Anything that is illegal offline should be illegal online."

But they still insisted it was the responsibility of internet companies to remove illegal content.

Shadow secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport Tom Watson said: "Google's near-monopoly in many markets means that they feel they can ignore the concerns of consumers, competitors and even elected governments. We urge the Government to take action."

Yasmin Batliwala of the charity WDP, which provides drug and alcohol treatment, said: "As there is no quality control on the content uploaded to a platform such as YouTube, inaccurate and potentially dangerous messages can be shared too easily."

feedback@people.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

VICTIM: Schoolgirl Shakira Pellow

TUTOR: LSD girl Anastasia May

STONED: VeeOneEye

POPPING MAD Drew Gilchrist brazenly takes ecstasy in his YouTube video
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Publication:The People (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 15, 2018
Words:950
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