June 4, 2019

Instagram’s Animal Abuse Problem.


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Since I’ve begun following some animal accounts on Instagram, I’ve come across many posts on my “explore” page depicting animal cruelty.

It’s not for awareness, rather, it’s for exploiting animals who are put in severe distress just for human entertainment—so people can have a laugh or satisfy their sadistic, twisted curiosity.

Some examples of this include people setting a rat on fire, or chopping the tail off a shark who is then released back into the ocean.

When I see such posts, I want to report them, but Instagram doesn’t provide that option. The only things you can report are nudity, porn, hate speech, drug or firearm promotion, bullying, or intellectual property violation, which are all incredibly specific.

The last option available for us to select is “I don’t like it,” and that simply blocks the post from your own account, which isn’t what I care about. I don’t want to just hide the unpleasantness from my eyes so I can live in ignorant bliss, guilty of doing nothing.

I care about stopping these sites from sharing animal abuse and thereby promoting it as acceptable and profiting off of it. I want to be able to report animal cruelty and have Instagram recognise this as a valid reason to block these pages.

People are striking out against Instagram’s anti-nudity policy, referring to it as an anti-freedom and human rights issue. I’m not denying that it is.

But it seems animals don’t even get the dignity of a policy put in place for their protection against the most horrific cruelties.

Hundreds are currently assembling outside Instagram HQ protesting against nudity, but where are the people speaking up for animals who have no voice of their own?



author: Corrie Nicholson

Image: @Ecofolks

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Editor: Catherine Monkman

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Sukriti Chhopra Jun 20, 2019 12:42am

Excellent observation. I follow animal welfare activist accounts, but never knew that such cruelty accounts existed. I know hunters who post photos with the murdered animals but this is beyond acceptable. Thank you for bringing this to notice.
Do you think starting a petition could be a starting point? And requesting people to write an email to Insta/file a request or complaint – a standard text could be provided for convenience? I would be happy to coordinate and work on something that will raise awareness about such accounts to start with. I mean people stand up and protest against dog meat trade in Asia; I am sure this will be an eye-opener too.

Melinda Walton Jun 7, 2019 12:41am

I so totally agree but what is actually done when you complain ?? They take it down and another pops up so nothing is done really .. we have to accept this or do we ?
What can we do as a majority because people have that power and we should be yelling it like Greta is about Climate change ..

Nicole Navarro-McCormack Jun 6, 2019 12:17am

Violence or harassment

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Corrie Nicholson

Corrie Nicholson is from Kenya, is a Vinyasa beginner, has her BSc in nutrition, and is an INFJ. Connect with her on Instagram.