Instagram acts to stop animal cruelty

"And it will set an important yardstick for others in social media to think about and follow".

Now, if you search on several hundred terms, the app will throw a flag saying "Protect Wildlife on Instagram", adding that "you are searching for a hashtag that may be associated with posts that encourage harmful behavior to animals or the environment".

Experts told Yahoo7 that tigers, lions, koalas and dolphins are at a high risk of mistreatment when humans interact with them at zoos. In the Brazilian Amazon city of Manaus 18 tour companies said they offered opportunities on 94 percent of trips to "hold and touch wild animals as photo props".

With effect from this Monday, whenever an Instagram user will make searches pertaining to, for or making clicks on a hashtag that is generally associated to abusive behavior toward animals, such as posing with and holding wild animals, the following warning message will pop up.

In relation to the new addition to Instagram's community guidelines, users will also be prohibited to access any photo that Instagram has tagged as showing animal abuse.

Instagram officials want to change that.

According to a press statement, Instagram signifies its intention to promote the "protection and safety of the natural world" by restricting images that show exploitation of animals.

Instagram's decision comes after National Geographic and World Animal Protection's months-long investigations into the growing industry of problematic wildlife tourism in the Amazon.

Instagram's move could also help clamp down on the growing problem of wildlife traffickers using social media to buy and sell live animals and poached animal parts. There are now hundreds of hashtags such as #SlothSelfie and #MonkeySelfie on Instagram.

Instagram has experimented with pop-up messages for other hashtags in the past surrounding suicide, eating disorders and other forms of self-harm, and already has safeguards in place to prevent pictures of animal abuse and the sale of endangered animals or their parts.

The in the United States, though the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did briefly lift a ban on trophies from legally hunted elephants last month before President Trump put the decision on hold on November 17.

Instagram isn't the only social platform to take a stand on wildlife protection. The reality is these wild animals are suffering terribly, both in front of and behind the camera.

Vanessa Coleman

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