Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Instagram Combats Animal Cruelty By Banning Selfies With Exotic Animals

Protecting Wildlife and Nature from Exploitation – Instagram Stop and think before you post your #SlothSelfie, Instagram says
Beatrice Douglas | 07 December, 2017, 03:09

Now when viewers search those hashtags a warning pops up saying: "Protect Wildlife on Instagram".

Instagram will start issuing warnings on selfies with the adorable Australian marsupial and other wild animals - with animal-cruelty cautions appearing when users search or click on hashtags including #koalaselfie, #lionselfie or #tigerpet as of Tuesday, National Geographic reports.

You can still carry on with your search and view the photos, cancel your search or learn more from a help page.

In October this year, Instagram was alerted that cutting-edge image recognition research undertaken by the charity showed a 292% increase in the number of selfies with wild animals posted on the site since 2014.

Tinder, specifically, has an abundance of tiger selfies, which, like any selfie with wildlife, have a violent and dark side that the public doesn't see.

"We care about our community, including the animals and the wildlife that are an important part of the platform", she began.

A new warning will pop up when visiting these hashtags.


You'll see if when viewing these flagged hashtags, but users posting photos under the same hashtags will not receive the warning.

In his own statement, Crawford Allan, a senior director of TRAFFIC at the World Wildlife Fund, claimed, "Social media has not yet really woken up to the full scale and extent of the nature of illegal wildlife trade that's being used and promoted [on social networks]". Koenen says that while cuddling a koala or a sloth for a photo may not seem harmful, the reality is undeniable.

"Wild animals are being taken from their mothers as babies and secretly kept in filthy, cramped conditions or repeatedly baited with food causing severe psychological trauma just so tourists can get photo".

The warnings were added earlier this week to thousands of photos already on the site.

Protecting wildlife and sensitive natural areas is hard enough as it is, and it's not helping that every brain-dead tourist wants to post a selfie with a koala bear or dolphin.

Instagram also has policed content for other topics including suicide, self-harm and eating disorders. The head of wildlife campaigns at World Animal Protection, Cassandra Koenen, who worked on this project believes this list can truly make a difference.

Wildlife selfies on social media is a growing phenomenon. Of course, the casual user may not realize the cute pictures are exploitative, but Instagram hopes to change that.

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