Instagram Launches New Alert System Warning Against Cruel Wild Animal Selfies

World Animal Protection

Instagram, one of the world’s predominant social media platforms, became even more popular with animal advocates yesterday when it launched a new ‘content advisory page’, designed to educate users about the cruelty inherent in taking selfies with wild animals.

The warning now appears whenever Instagram users search for or click on a hashtag that is associated with harmful behavior to animals or the environment such as #koalaselfie, #slothselfie or #elephantselfie.

“We encourage everyone to be thoughtful about interactions with wild animals and the environment to help avoid exploitation and to report any photos and videos you may see that may violate our community guidelines,” Instagram explained in a statement. “We are committed to fostering a safer, kinder world both on Instagram and beyond the app.”

World Wildlife FundTRAFFIC, and World Animal Protection worked with Instagram to identify the most commonly used hashtags associated with abusive behavior toward animals, including animal tourism and the wildlife trade.

While most people are aware that wildlife trafficking is illegal, many fail to recognize that taking photos of someone holding a monkey, petting a tiger cub or riding an elephant also threatens an animal’s well-being but it does.

“Many of the animals who tourists take photos with are stolen from their natural habitats,” World Animal Protection noted on its website, explaining that animals may look happy in selfies but they are not. “They are kept in cramped conditions and passed around from tourist to tourist, causing extreme stress.”

WAN is thrilled that Instagram is using its global influence to promote the fact it is NOT acceptable to exploit wild animals and use them as photo props.

We hope that this becomes the new trend!

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