Instagram says do not take selfies with wild 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

You can still view the photos but you can also choose to cancel your search or learn more from an Instagram help page. Animal abuse and the sale of endangered animals or their parts are not allowed on Instagram.

Instagram will show pop-up alerts to users who use hashtags that might be associated with the abuse of wildlife, the company said Monday. "I think it's important for the community right now to be more aware".

"We're as an organisation, looking for ways to educate the public, who really love these animals, about what's going on behind the scenes and what had to happen to these animals".

You might accidentally be enabling abuse of animals by taking selfies with them, a new report has warned.

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.

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Instagram is not disclosing the hashtags it selected, as the company wants users to stumble on them organically.

Instagram is far from the only app to have a wildlife photo problem.

More often than not, these photos take advantage of lovely creatures that have been torn from their natural environment'. It can be very stressful, Koenen says, but it's hard for people to observe the effects in the animal they're handling.

Researchers at the University of Oxford's Wildlife Conservation Unit found that tourists are notoriously bad at judging whether a wildlife interaction is good or bad for the creatures.

Moreover, she adds, it's often what a photo doesn't capture that's most concerning. It's a giant step ahead towards the fight against wildlife abuse whereby wild animals like monkeys, tigers, koalas, sloths are abused, thrashed and drugged for human entertainment. Other animals that are popular for selfies, like lion and tiger cubs, are speed-bred in captivity and weaned from their mothers much too early. Elephant riding, tiger stroking, and slow loris selfies are activities that are common for tourists visiting Asia.

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One picture at a time, one person at a time, the world could find true compassion for animals thought of as little more than cute props for "likable" social media pics.

An excited group of tourists crowds a pink river dolphin in Brazil's Negro River.

Instagram has policed content before. 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.

The introduction of the warning feature is part of a fine line that social networks walk between stopping the spread of negative images and censoring users. "And it will set an important yardstick for others in social media to think about and follow".

In October, a Ukranian Instagram user sparked outrage among animal lovers when she posted her cat while it was getting a tattoo. The reality is these wild animals are suffering terribly, both in front of and behind the camera.

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