Instagram Works to Combat Wildlife Exploitation

Protecting Wildlife and Nature from Exploitation – Instagram

Instagram is cracking down on wildlife selfies

WAP chief executive Steve McIvor said: "We congratulate Instagram on taking this important step towards educating its users about wild animals that are suffering for selfies".

Lead image by Pixabay user Webster 2703, used under Creative Commons. You'll see if when viewing these flagged hashtags, but users posting photos under the same hashtags will not receive the warning.

Instagram announced Monday that it is adding content warnings to selfies that include tigers, koalas and other wildlife.

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A hashtag like #slothselfie would trigger the new alert system, according to National Geographic, as would #koalaselfie according to the image above.

Wildlife selfies on social media is a growing phenomenon.

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.

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"Wild animals are being taken from their mothers as babies and secretly kept in filthy, cramped conditions or repeatedly baited with food causing severe psychological trauma just so tourists can get photo". Animal abuse and the sale of endangered animals or their parts are not allowed on Instagram. "The protection and safety of the natural world are important to us and our global community".

Certain animals could be harmed by all the selfie-taking.

Celebrities including socialite Paris Hilton and reality start Khloe Kardashian have been roundly criticised for posing for pictures with chimpanzees and orangutans at private zoos by the UN's Great Apes Survival Partnership, who branded them "chumps with chimps" a year ago. Each of these things is also regularly shared on Instagram. He often sticks his arm into their mouths during photos, and treats them as status symbols.

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