Instagram updates regulations against wildlife selfies

If you are a fan of having exotic animals on your feed, looks like the world’s most popular photo sharing app, Instagram, is stepping up against wildlife cruelty with its latest update.

As of December 4, whenever an Instagram user searches for a hashtag commonly used by “abusive behavior towards animals”, a message prompt will pop up saying:

“You are searching for a hashtag that may be associated with posts that encourage harmful behavior to animals or the environment.”

Users who wish to click the “learn more” tab will then be directed to a page on wildlife exploitation, with informative warnings to tourists about taking pictures with these exotic animals. Instagram worked with several wildlife organizations including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), TRAFFIC and World Animal Protection. They identified the most commonly used hashtags associated with abusive behavior towards animals, which also includes animal tourism and wildlife trade.

In an interview with Huffington Post, hundreds of hashtag combinations will now trigger the warning ranging from phrases that “tend to be used on photos of tourists with captive animals.”

This new update comes after the platform’s set up last year in relation to issues of self-harm, which also prompted users a pop-up message resulting to hashtags related to suicide, eating disorder and other sensitive topics. This initiative has educated both its staff and the users, with the help of wildlife experts, as it’s constantly monitored.

Source: Huffington Post