How Instagram is fighting animal tourism

Posted in Digital
on December 31, 2017

 Instagram is actively taking a step to remove images which display the exploitation of animals. Animal selfies, which are seemingly innocent to the people posting the images, actually cause a lot of distress to the animals involved. Instagram is now beginning to alert users to these images and discouraging users from posting pictures like these.

Animals, including sloths and kolas, dislike being handled or carried around, just to pose for unknowing tourists. Therefore, these animal selfies are causing these animals great amounts of distress. And let’s not forget lion cub petting, which fools many tourists with their hidden unethical practices. Visit claws out to find out more. What’s more, most animals in these horrible situations, are often taken from their natural habitat and then traded and exploited for human pleasure.

This new investigation has led to Instagram hiding posts which they deem inappropriate, while encouraging people not to post these photos. Plus, anyone who searches for a post like these will see a warning about how they may be accidentally encouraging animal abuse. Essentially, if a particular hashtag is used or searched, users will be informed that these posts may encourage harmful behaviour to animals and the environment.
Instagram messsage

The reason Instagram has introduced this is due to many people posting the photos without knowing the abuse behind it. It follows an investigation by National Geographic, which looked into the way social media encourages animal tourism. Due to the popularity of these animal selfies, many of which are taken just to post to show friends, hundreds of animals are captured from the wild, container in horrible conditions and explored every day, just for a photo.

Instagram is hoping this move will encourage users to be more thoughtful about their decisions and the reasons behind their actions. You can find out more about this here.

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