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Instagram is home to thousands of photos of people posing with wild animals. In order to combat the possible negative effects of selfies and other images taken with animals, Instagram has created a new tool that delivers a notification to users who search for popular tags involving animals.
Since the beginning of December, 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.
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.”
Instagram said in a statement: “The protection and safety of the natural world are important to us and our global community. We encourage everyone to be thoughtful about interactions with wild animals and the environment to help avoid exploitation and to report any photos and videos you may see that may violate our community guidelines.
“We are committed to fostering a safer, kinder world both on Instagram and beyond the app. If you’d like to learn more about endangered wildlife and exploitation, visit World Wildlife Fund, TRAFFIC and World Animal Protection.”