Helping kids deal with animal exploitation on social media

Social media platforms have taken a stand on wildlife trafficking, but videos of problematic human-animal interactions still run unchecked. Parents can help kids separate the good from the concerning.

Every day, the average American teen with a TikTok account spends 82 minutes scrolling through videos. If they love animals, they may find their feed filling up with a stream of irresistible critters doing irresistibly cute things—from puppies, rabbits, cats to slow lorises, monkeys, chimpanzees, and tigers.

After all, who doesn’t love a cute video of a domestic cat pouncing on its owner’s head? But animal-loving young people can also inadvertently get served a regular stream of problematic wildlife content without even realizing it.

Hands-on exotic wildlife videos on platforms like TikTok and YouTube are hugely popular and may seem innocuous. But they’re part of a spectrum of online content depicting animal exploitation both explicit—platforms have become hot spots for

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