3 reasons why you shouldn’t share or like some animal videos

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Created: 03/18/2023, 04:55 am

Von: Michaela Ebert


What looks funny to us can be the complete opposite to the animal. When liking and sharing viral animal videos, users should be aware of the consequences.

Oh how cute! The sight of grimly looking cats or clumsy puppies inspires enthusiasm among many. So it’s no wonder that many of the furry friends are also real stars on Instagram and TikTok. Some of them even have more followers than one or the other celebrity.

Although some of the videos always provide short laughs, such as cats frightened by a cucumber or owners barking at their dogs, they are certainly questionable. Animals that are humanized too much also cause some to be skeptical. Some young people would rather have a dog than a child.

But there are other reasons why you should sometimes simply not share the entertaining animal videos on social media:

1. Laypersons often misinterpret animal behavior

Unfortunately, what looks like fun for humans often means exactly the opposite for animals. Even if animals are sometimes more like us than we think (dogs can really cry with joy), many situations should not be humanized across the board.

In a reel, for example, an Instagram user explains why the cute rabbit with sunglasses on the beach is anything but comfortable. Such animal-specific behavior is often hardly recognizable for laypeople or is simply misunderstood.

2. Dangerous for species protection: pygmy otter hype in Japan

In addition, some trends also violate species protection, as a study in the specialist magazine Plos One shows. There, biologists evaluated the reactions to a viral animal video from Madagascar.

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You could see a small lemur monkey being petted by two children and asking them to continue scratching with his paw. After the clip’s internet success, the researchers repeatedly found a desire in the comments to keep a lemur as a pet or even questions about where such an animal could be bought.

There was also a similar trend in Japan, with cute videos of domesticated little otters popping up all over the web. At the same time, the number of animals imported into the country also increased, as expert Anna Breger explains in the Quarks Daily podcast.

3. Dangerous Trends: Fail videos can endanger animals

Another trend are the so-called fail videos. They show people or animals doing something funny. Sometimes the protagonists are put into such situations on purpose. From the point of view of the animal rights organization PETA Germany, this can also be problematic in the long term.

“When animals realize that their caregivers are intentionally performing such ‘stunts’ to scare and hurt them, the relationship of trust can be damaged or even destroyed,” writes PETA Germany on its website. Anxiety, skittishness and discomfort in your own home can be the consequences for the pet.

#stopanimalselfies: Campaign calls on users to protect species

But what can users do when they find such a video in their feed? First of all: Do not share, spread or like. Content that comes from Germany and where there is a suspicion of a lack of species-appropriate husbandry (such as dwarf otters that are kept without a sufficiently large water area) can be reported to the authorities. In addition, the World Animal Protection Society recommends reporting these videos or images to the platform as a depiction of animal suffering.

In addition, the government of Costa Rica, for example, launched the #stopanimalselfies campaign to stop the spread of wildlife selfies on the internet. It’s mostly about the Instagrammable sloths that are brought out of the rainforest to attract tourists to cafes and hotels.

Despite everything, there are of course also videos on the internet that show lots of furry friends in beautiful and funny situations, in which they can just be themselves – and, by the way, are infinitely cute or funny at the same time. Then of course sharing and liking is fine, like here, with this cute video: