World Animal Protection’s recent “Wildlife Selfie Code” campaign urged people never to take a selfie with a wild animal – 250,000 people signed the organization’s pledge. Now, the campaign has influenced Instagram to take progressive steps towards ending wild animal selfies!
There are tens of thousands of selfies on Instagram that feature exotic animals, and with every post, followers want to join the trend and take one of their own. But now, after working closely with World Animal Protection, Instagram has launched a new “content advisory page” that seeks to educate users about the issues selfies with wild animals cause. When Instagram users search for hashtags such as #koalaselfie and #slothselfie, a warning message will pop up.
The warning reads “Animal abuse and the sale of endangered animals or their parts is not allowed on Instagram. You are searching a hashtag that may be associated with posts that encourage harmful behavior to animals or the environment.” Users can then click a link to visit World Animal Protection’s website to learn more about posts that encourage harmful behavior to animals.
“With its community of over 800 million users, Instagram has the platform to change the conversation around the use of animals as photo props. We are encouraged by this first step towards changing the acceptability of using animals for our entertainment,” said Cassandra Koenen, Head of Wildlife Campaigns at World Animal Protection.
This is an edited excerpt from an article that first appeared on One Green Planet