According to WAP numerous animals who tourists take photos with are stolen from their natural habitat and are then kept in cramped conditions and passed around from tourist to tourist, causing them extreme stress. When Instagram users search for hashtags such as #koalaselfie and #slothselfie, a warning message will pop up.
"To better educate our community members about creating content that exploits wildlife and nature, today we are launching new in-app products to encourage everyone to be thoughtful about interactions with wild animals and the environment", the company said in a statement. The dating app, Tinder, for example, asked its users to avoid using selfies with tigers for their profiles. Now, the campaign has influenced Instagram to take progressive steps towards ending wild animal selfies! "PETA says now is the time to rid the platform of tiger photos in honor of International Tiger Day on Saturday July 29th, and we could not agree more".
This is a good reminder that most wild animals do not want to take a photo with you, unless they're being baited with food, drugged, or beaten into submission. Those hashtags will still appear in search results. However, Instagram will remove pictures if it thinks that they show animal abuse or if the image states that it's selling an endangered animal. In fact, the socialite, Paris Hilton, posted one a week ago.
Though there are plenty of people who don't give two shits about the safety of animals when it comes to furthering their brand, Instagram is hoping these notifications will help to educate people who don't know about the negative ramifications of riding an elephant while overseas.
Apart from this type of images, Instagram has also added pop-up warnings for topics, like self-harm and eating disorders. Additionally, being handled by tourist after tourist exposes these precious animals to a vast array of germs and diseases. The worse part is that tourists do not know if the attractions they're visiting treat the animals well or not.
For now, the move is meant to raise awareness and, perhaps, stop people from posting photos that show animals (like sloths and koalas) engaging with humans in any way that could be distressing to the animal.