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Instagram Tackles Wildlife Exploitation with New Hashtag Warnings

Instagram has just introduced new warnings that will appear when users are searching for hashtags that can be attributed to wildlife exploitation.

Searches for things like #koalaselfie, #elephantride, and #lionselfie will now bring up a warning screen to deter users from viewing images. Instead, users will be encouraged to learn more about wildlife exploitation instead of viewing images on the network. However, the warning can still be bypassed.

The move comes shortly after a group of high-profile photographers launched the Photographers Against Wildlife Crime project that looks to combat similar issues.

Irresponsible tourism, particularly in Asia, is a big culprit in encouraging wildlife exploitation. Tiger selfies, elephant riding, and slow loris cuddling are all big players in wildlife exploitation. Animals trapped in the industry face awful welfare conditions and no doubt lead a miserable life.

Instagram’s move is a step in the right direction for combating wildlife exploitation on Instagram. The platform is often used to share snaps from such occasions.

However, users actually posting images themselves under the hashtags will not receive any warnings about it.

#thailand #elephantriding #otraves #porqueno #bonitopaisaje #familyandfriends ##goodtimes #latepost

A post shared by Richard Meza (@richardsubaru2) on

An Instagram rep told Huffington Post that there are now hundreds of hashtags with the new warnings applied. The social media giant worked with 3 major conservation organizations (World Wildlife Fund, TRAFFIC, and World Animal Protection) to identify the hashtags and bring about the change.

The changes are now live on the Instagram website worldwide.


Lead photo by S B and used under CC 2.0 license.

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