Instagram Users Warned Against Wild Animal Selfies

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These animals are often victims of the tourism industry, and paying for pictures with exotic animals may put them and endangered animals at risk, the guidelines explain.

"We care about our community, including the animals and the wildlife that are an important part of the platform", Instagram spokeswoman Emily Cain said.

Protecting wildlife and sensitive natural areas is hard enough as it is, and it's not helping that every brain-dead tourist wants to post a selfie with a koala bear or dolphin.

The warning also will pop-up for hashtags that advertise the sale of exotic animals or animal parts, according to Instagram. "If someone's behavior is interrupted, hopefully they'll think, maybe there's something more here, or maybe I shouldn't just automatically like something or forward something or repost something if Instagram is saying to me there's a problem with this photo", she said.

But some people might wonder why it's "harmful" to hold and take a picture with these animals.

In many areas, animals are often illegally captured to generate money from tourists who jump at the chance to take a selfie with an exotic species, a practice that is highly risky for the animals involved. "We're trying to do our part to educate them".

Tinder pledged to donate $10,000 to Project Cat, a partnership between Discovery Communications and the World Wildlife Foundation to protect tigers and their habitat.

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Instagram doesn't plan on revealing all of the hashtags associated with the message so that users can stumble upon it during their searches. According to Giavanna Grein, TRAFFIC and the World Wildlife Fund plan to focus on suggesting more hashtags and working with Instagram to train employees to spot content involving endangered animals.

"We are committed to fostering a safer, kinder world both on Instagram and beyond the app", Instagram said in the statement.

Social media users are increasingly taking selfies with animals as props at tourist attractions such as zoos.

Starting today, Instagram is rolling out a new alert system to its more than 800 million users.

Vacation snaps featuring cuddly koalas or elephant rides might seem cute, but Instagram wants to warn its users of the potential animal abuse going on under the surface of these operations.

That was the finding of a new investigation that has led Instagram to hide such posts on the site and encourage people not to take them.

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