Instagram has announced a new wildlife protection measure following a New York Times report on how some traffickers are using the platform as part of the illicit animal trade. In a blog post published earlier this week, Instagram said that it will start presenting a content advisory screen to users who search for hashtags that are, “associated with harmful behavior to animals or the environment.”
This advisory, shown below, links to both the posts and a page where additional information on the matter is provided. That page, which discusses both environmental considerations and wild animal interactions, further links to TRAFFIC, the World Wildlife Fund, and World Animal Protection agencies.
In addition to encouraging its users not to damage the environment in order to get the perfect shot, Instagram says:
We also encourage you to be mindful of your interactions with wild animals, and consider whether an animal has been smuggled, poached or abused for the sake of tourism. For example, be wary when paying for photo opportunities with exotic animals, as these photos and videos may put endangered animals at risk.
Users who come across a video or photo they believe to be violating Instagram’s guidelines on this matter are urged to report it. The company explicitly states that it does not allow endangered animals to be sold via its platform, nor does it allow content featuring animal abuse.