Instagram Fights Wildlife Exploitation with New Hashtag Warnings

Protecting Wildlife and Nature from Exploitation – Instagram

Instagram Fights Wildlife Exploitation with New Hashtag Warnings

The photo-sharing platform worked with the World Wildlife Fund, its partner organisation TRAFFIC and World Animal Protection to draw up a list of the most commonly used hashtags in association with animal exploitation imagery and videos. More than 3,000 posts with #koalaselfie already exist on the platform, but Instagram won't be banning the photos.

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.

Instagram will begin to issue warnings about taking selfies with animals. You'll see if when viewing these flagged hashtags, but users posting photos under the same hashtags will not receive the warning.

Many of them are illegally taken from the wild or away from their mothers to serve as selfie bait for tourists, and are often kept in appalling conditions.

Sloth selfies on Instagram - typically brokered by locals in tourist traps like Costa Rica - exploded by almost 300 percent this year since 2014, according to World Animal Protection. Plus, all these pay-to-post images kinda normalize grabbing any animal and snapping a pic-like in this horrifying story of idiots murdering a baby dolphin for Insta, or this woman who killed a swan for a selfie.

The warning also will pop-up for hashtags that advertise the sale of exotic animals or animal parts, according to Instagram.

World Animal Protection has previously petitioned Instagram to include more about wild animal abuse in Instagram's user guidelines. "We're trying to do our part to educate them". He often sticks his arm into their mouths during photos, and treats them as status symbols.

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