Instagram is meant to be a website where people share photos with ease. It is an extension of Facebook where you share words (and photos). Coming, as I have, from a different generation to modern man but still being relatively young in mind, I think there is too much of what I would call aimless exchanges of information. Basically, people are just reciting what they did today and the response is by someone who recites what they did today. Are we interested?
It seems that for many people the answer is, yes. People are interested in the routine and mundane happenings of others. Clearly, I am not in touch with modern life. Used properly – promoting animal welfare for example – these are useful sites, but most of the content has little value.
Instagram photo-sharing is highly successful. It climbed in popularity as fast as Twitter did. People are obsessed with “sharing”. Is it because people want to be loved in a loveless world? Is it about people reaching out for a pat on the back and reassurance? People want to be recognised and someone to say “you are OK, I like you”. That is the way I see these sites working. Or at least part of it is about that.
Well, as usual, good intentions have been hijacked by the seedier side of life. Instagram is being used by people to sell companion animals. Amongst the clothes and jewelry are animals. They are the same thing, aren’t they? For many people they are. There lies one of the root causes of animal abuse.
We know that it is unacceptable to sell pets like this. Graigslist banned it years ago. Amazon and eBay have policies against the sale of animals on their websites.
Selling animals on Instagram:
- can undermine regulations i.e. as to legalities of keeping certain types of animals and regulations selling very young animals;
- can lead to animal abuse – who is buying? A dealer in animals for research, for example;
- encourages breeding. This is unregulated, poor standard companion animal breeding that disregards animal welfare, which….
- can lead to shelter animals being euthanised when otherwise they would be rehomed;
- can lead to animals being sold for unethical purposes.
There is a lot wrong with selling animals over Instagram. What do Instagram say? Nothing really. They wheel out the usual bland responses and ask that people use “the report tools next to every photo”. Helpful? No. They are not taking responsibility for the problem. They place the burden on the user. This is the modern, large website-owner mentality, which is to keep the site wide open for use by as many people, and for as many uses, as possible and to let people police themselves. Fine, but for me and for many other people that is not responsible enough.
Have you noticed how Facebook and now Instagram and recently Twitter are all “behind the curve” when it comes to people abusing their websites. Twitter is full of trolling that has resulted in some high profile cases where people have been bullied. Twitter’s reaction was inadequate and slow. They don’t really care. Big business doesn’t. The big sites use and abuse for profit. Facebook actively abuses users i.e. collecting personal data and using it to target people. As it happens users don’t mind. Perhaps we have simply got used to it. We may regret that one day.
Selling animals on Instagram is just another example of how big business doesn’t really want to take responsibility for its actions. Internet businesses in particular want as little monitoring and regulation as possible because it means less work for them, less overheads, and more activity which translates to more profit. It is the establishment using the masses!
There is a petition about Instagram. I am sure you have heard about it. If not this is the page.