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This alert system - which thus far seems specifically tailored to abuse against wildlife - will send users a warning message if a hashtag they search can be related to cruelty to animals.

The charity World Animal Protection said in a report that Instagram has seen a 292 percent increase in wildlife selfies since 2014 around the world.

The message is aimed at the "wildlife selfie" trends, in which tourists take photos with exotic animals like koalas, sloths, elephants and tigers. More than 40% of those selfie photos showed particularly bad interactions with wild animals - someone hugging, holding or inappropriately handling a wild animal.

The photo-sharing platform worked with the World Wildlife Fund, its partner organisation TRAFFIC and World Animal Protection to draw up a list of the most commonly used hashtags in association with animal exploitation imagery and videos. "We're trying to do our part to educate them".

According to WAP numerous animals who tourists take photos with are stolen from their natural habitat and are then kept in cramped conditions and passed around from tourist to tourist, causing them extreme stress.

One picture at a time, one person at a time, the world could find true compassion for animals thought of as little more than cute props for "likable" social media pics. In 2012, Instagram banned accounts, images and hashtags dedicated to "glorifying, promoting or encouraging self-harm", such as "Thinspiration" photos that depict extremely thin women to encourage users to lose weight.

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

Instagram's move could also help clamp down on the growing problem of wildlife traffickers using social media to buy and sell live animals and poached animal parts.

In October, a Ukranian Instagram user sparked outrage among animal lovers when she posted her cat while it was getting a tattoo. Kardashian and her half-sister, model Kendal Jenner, are also regular visitors to the Black Jaguar-White Tiger animal rescue foundation, which houses exotic animals including pumas, lions and jaguars.

Instagram isn't the only social platform to take a stand on wildlife protection.

The in the United States, though the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did briefly lift a ban on trophies from legally hunted elephants last month before President Trump put the decision on hold on November 17.


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