Monday, 11 December, 2017

Instagram is banning selfies with exotic animals

Instagram's new pop ups will alert users to potential instances of animal abuse Instagram's new pop ups will alert users to potential instances of animal
Pete Mitchell | 07 December, 2017, 03:09

"Sometimes you might be in an exotic location, say on a beach, and someone comes by with a tiger cub or a baby chimpanzee and offers to let you take a selfie with the animal for a small price", said Crawford Allan, senior director for the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network at the World Wildlife Fund.

Now, if you search on several hundred terms, the app will throw a flag saying "Protect Wildlife on Instagram", adding that "you are searching for a hashtag that may be associated with posts that encourage harmful behavior to animals or the environment". "Animal abuse and the sale of endangered animals or their parts is not allowed on Instagram", the pop-up text on the screen states.

In its Wildlife Selfie Code, World Animal Protection encourages tourists to take photos of wild animals without participating in the wildlife entertainment industry and photograph them in their natural environment, where they are free to move around.

It is because of incidents like this that Instagram is cracking down on the trend of animal selfies which thousands of people post across social media each year.

Though there are plenty of people who don't give two shits about the safety of animals when it comes to furthering their brand, Instagram is hoping these notifications will help to educate people who don't know about the negative ramifications of riding an elephant while overseas.

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Instagram has policed content before. And Instagram will now try and alert people to those dangers, while discouraging them from posting such pictures. In 2012, Instagram banned accounts, images and hashtags dedicated to "glorifying, promoting or encouraging self-harm", such as "Thinspiration" photos that depict extremely thin women to encourage users to lose weight.

At the same time, selfies taken in newly Instagram-popular spots, like Bonneville Salt Flats and Yellowstone National Park, can ravage their sensitive environments. "And it will set an important yardstick for others in social media to think about and follow".

Instagram hopes to make users think twice about what's going on behind the picture.

Lead Image: A young man snaps a selfie on Isla de los Micos, Monkey Island, in the Colombian Amazon. It found that animals were being captured in the wild and held in often awful conditions, purely so they could be used by tourists to take selfies with. Wildlife experts say that behind the scenes, many wild animals suffer.

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