Social Media must be vigilant to fight animal abuse

Responsibility of social media and animal rights

It is a terrible fact of lifeĀ in our generally advanced society that innocent animals are often abused. And sadly, the internet can facilitate such crimes. It’s ironic that sometimes high tech internet technology can inadvertently help to trigger and promote some of the worst acts of barbarism. A dog was recently tortured in a terrible way, and then killed, and we know about this because the heinous offenders videotaped their crime and posted it to social media. This is, of course, an unacceptable outrage.

A petition calling for the maximum prosecution under the law for these criminals is circulating, and the internet will help that petition spread and gain traction with the public. That’s good. However, it’s frustrating to note that online social media played such a large role in triggering this event. Did the perpetrators abuse this dog because they sought internet notoriety? Did they want to go viral and make a name for themselves online? Sadly it appears this was a factor in their decision.

Of course social media companies don’t condone these kinds of crimes. But we must call on them to remain vigilant, and prevent these kinds of terrible posts, and delete them when they slip through. Social media companies control the playing field. These monsters wouldn’t have an audience for their heinous activities if not for the many social media platforms functioning online. The criminals are nothing without social media, and as any Marvel Comic fan knows, with great power comes great responsibility.

This issue isn’t reserved for high flying social media companies, either. This week the modest pages of craigslist played a role in a tragic animal abuse incident. A woman adopted a pet pig from craigslist, in Macon Georgia, but rather than shower it with love and affection, she asked her incompetent neighbor to slaughter it for food, instead. The pig endured a several hour ordeal, which included being struck with a pick axe, shot several times in non-lethal places, and beaten as well. Finally the police were called to the scene, and they decided to killed the animal in order to put it out of its misery. The police also removed dogs from the neighborhood, so animal mistreatment was rampant in the community.

We must all remain vigilant to preventĀ animal abuse, since these innocent creatures can’t defend themselves. In fact, they rely on us for protection. Social media and other internet venues must do their part, policing their sites for abusive posts linked to crimes against animals, and minimizing potential abuses when ever possible.

 

Photo: forechange.com (screen capture)

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