Exclusive: Instagram Fights Animal Abuse With New Alert System
Using tools built to tackle self-harm and suicide, the social network will now alert users to behavior that harms wildlife.
Instagram is rife with photos of cute wild animals—including the exotic and endangered. A picture of someone hugging a sloth or showing off a pet tiger cub is just a click away on the massively popular photo-sharing platform, which serves 800 million users.
But starting today, searches for a wide range of wildlife hashtags will trigger a notification informing people of the behind-the-scenes animal abuse that makes some seemingly innocent wildlife photos possible.
Instagram will now deliver a pop-up message whenever someone searches or clicks on a hashtag like “#slothselfie.” The message reads, in part, “You are searching for a hashtag that may be associated with posts that encourage harmful behavior to animals or the environment.”
People can then click through