Instagram Users Warned Against Wild Animal Selfies

Protecting Wildlife and Nature from Exploitation – Instagram

With effect from this Monday, whenever an Instagram user will make searches pertaining to, for or making clicks on a hashtag that is generally associated to abusive behavior toward animals, such as posing with and holding wild animals, the following warning message will pop up.

It's really cool to see Instagram take up this initiative!

But some people might wonder why it's "harmful" to hold and take a picture with these animals.

Instagram compiled the list of animal hashtags over the space of several months with input from the World Animal Protection, World Wildlife Fund, and TRAFFIC - an organisation that works alongside the WWF to monitor the trade of wildlife.

What might seem like a cute photo op with an adorable animal could actually involve harm and possible death to wildlife, while also creating a market for those who seek to exploit them, wildlife advocates say.

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. "And then when the animal gets too big they sell it, sometimes for body parts", he said.

4, when someone uses a hashtag that has been "associated with harmful behavior to animals or the environment", such as #Koalaselfie or #Slothselfie, they'll get a pop-up notification telling them about animal abuse.

A handout picture released on October 4, 2017 by World Animal Protection shows a tourist taking a photo of a woman posing with a sloth in an unspecified location in Brazil on October 22, 2016.

This is a good reminder that most wild animals do not want to take a photo with you, unless they're being baited with food, drugged, or beaten into submission. "I think it's important for the community right now to be more aware".

The message is a response to research conducted by WAP that shows a 292% increase in the number of wildlife selfies posted on Instagram since 2014. This would surely make you want to reconsider uploading vacation pictures of you riding an elephant during your vacation in Thailand on social media. Social media users call this trend "Wildlife Selfie".

Starting today, Instagram is rolling out a new alert system to its more than 800 million users. The reality is these wild animals are suffering terribly, both in front of and behind the camera.

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