Reporting Harmful Content
Digital companies have a responsibility to prevent criminal activity on their platforms. Many are starting to address the issue of wildlife cybercrime, for example a Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online has been established and individual companies are taking action. Facebook bans the sale of all live animals on its platforms and Instagram has set up automatic alerts for searches which could promote wildlife trafficking.
However users are currently easily able to flout the rules and there is still a very long way to go. Your help is critical to discover and end these practices.
Social media companies and online marketplaces need to do more to ensure their platform is not being used to enable and promote content which is harmful to animals. JGI works with companies to help them understand how to do this and to remove/prevent harmful content from being shared in the future.
What can you do now to report harmful content online?
Facebook guidance on how to report material that breaches community standards or is of concern to you is here.
Facebook has a No sale of animals online (commercial policy). Facebook’s English Community Standards specify ‘Do not post:Content depicting, admitting or promoting the following criminal acts committed by you or your associates…..Poaching or selling endangered species or their parts’.
See how to report inappropriate content such as videos.
Instagram has a policy on Protecting wildlife and nature from exploitation and Community Guidelines specify that users must ‘Follow the law’. Here is more information about wildlife exploitation from Instagram.
In 2017, in response to concerns about the impact of online posts promoting behaviour which harms wildlife, especially selfies, Instagram brought in an automated content advisory screen for potentially harmful searches. However it is still possible to see and share harmful material.
On youtube you can flag content and use a reporting tool if you feel content does not meet Community Guidelines, however the categories do not appear to take account of potential for harm to animals except through direct abuse.
Private and group messaging is used for sharing inappropriate content too. Guidance on how to report problematic issues to WhatsApp is here and for reporting contacts/groups is here