Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Tech | By Amelia Peters

Instagram Says "Nope" To Exotic Animal Selfies

Instagram Says

Starting today, when a person searches for a hashtag associated with harmful behavior to animals or the environment, they will see a content advisory screen.

These animals are often victims of the tourism industry, and paying for pictures with exotic animals may put them and endangered animals at risk, the guidelines explain.

The message is targeted at tourists who take photos with wild animals like lions, sloths and elephants as part of the "wildlife selfies" trend, embraced by celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Ariana Grande, Justin Timberlake and many others.

While Instagram is not removing images that depict people holding animals, they are committed to removing any images that depict acts of animal abuse. "I think it's important for the community right now to be more aware".

The network claim that while people who are taking the photos may not actively be abusing the animals, many animals in captivity are cruelly and illegally captured from their habitats and kept in unacceptable conditions.

The list of hashtags was developed over several months in a collaborative effort with the World Wildlife Fund, TRAFFIC, a partner team of WWF that monitors the wildlife trade, and World Animal Protection. Unlike traditional e-commerce sites like eBay, platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow would-be traffickers to connect and then take their communications-and negotiations-onto a separate, private platform, says Giavanna Grein, wildlife crime program officer at TRAFFIC. "We're trying to do our part to educate them", she expressed.

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Users of the social media platform are now shown a message against animal exploitation when searching for hashtags that refer to wild animal abuse.

Taking a selfie with a wild animal and uploading it to social media may seem like a harmless thing to do.

In October, a Ukranian Instagram user sparked outrage among animal lovers when she posted her cat while it was getting a tattoo.

A large number of Instagram users upload and share pictures of themselves taken with their pets.

The in the United States, though the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did briefly lift a ban on trophies from legally hunted elephants last month before President Trump put the decision on hold on November 17.

"The majority are really unaware of a lot of the bad conditions and frightful treatment that wild animals experience, so that we can really capture special vacation selfies".

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