As a social networking website that focuses on photo sharing among members, Instagram has developed some very strict guidelines when it comes to images it deems offensive or inappropriate. Any form of nudity, whether real or digital is also prohibited to be posted.
Instagram has added another layer of restriction for photos to be shared within the site. The website now bans images related to animal cruelty and abuse, as well as images that aim to sell endangered species through the social media website.
Protect Wildlife on Instagram
According to a press statement, Instagram signifies its intention to promote the "protection and safety of the natural world" by restricting images that show exploitation of animals. In case any photo containing animal abuse gets through, Instagram encourages its users to report it right away.
"We are committed to fostering a safer, kinder world both on Instagram and beyond the app," Instagram said in the statement.
A large number of Instagram users upload and share pictures of themselves taken with their pets. Social media users call this trend "Wildlife Selfie." However, in some cases, there are photos and clips that show animals being forced into doing certain acts, which are condemned by animal rights groups.
Instagram Users Who Learned their Lesson
In October, a Ukranian Instagram user sparked outrage among animal lovers when she posted her cat while it was getting a tattoo. Comments on her post described her act as torture to the cat. The Instagram user, Elena Ivanickaya, who is a model, was undeterred by the comments and claimed the cat lived better than what some users are saying. She soon deleted her Instagram account.
In November, Hollywood actress Drew Barrymore drew the ire of netizens when she posted a photo of herself holding a live starfish. The actress said in an interview that she was deeply hurt by the cruel and ugly Instagram comments she received.
Searching for Animal Abuse Images? Not Allowed
In relation to the new addition to Instagram's community guidelines, users will also be prohibited to access any photo that Instagram has tagged as showing animal abuse. If users search for particular hashtags that are related to animal cruelty, they will see a pop-up box informing them that images containing animal abuse are not allowed on the site.
Simply put, for people looking for animal cruelty images and clips, whether they consider them funny, entertaining or interesting, Instagram asks them to look elsewhere.