TikTok joins campaign to stop online wildlife trafficking


Martyn Landi, The Irish Examiner

Date Published

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TikTok has joined an online campaign fronted by wildlife protection organisations aiming to reduce the trafficking of animals on the internet.

The video-sharing platform has been added to the Coalition to End Wildlife Tracking Online, which was established in 2018 by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Traffic and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

TikTok said that while the promotion of poaching or the illegal trade of wildlife is already against its community guidelines, the coalition would help the platform improve its monitoring of such content by flagging emerging trends or developments and providing “honest feedback” to help improve TikTok’s policies.

The platform added that, since November, it had removed just over 85% of such content before it received a single view, but it wanted to do more to improve its policing of such material.

“We know that the criminals who facilitate wildlife trafficking constantly change their tactics to evade detection, that makes this kind of partnership essential,” the social media giant said.

Luc Adenot, TikTok’s global policy lead for illegal activities and regulated goods, added: “TikTok is a space for creative expression and content promoting wildlife trafficking is strictly prohibited.

“We look forward to partnering with the coalition and its members as we work together to share intelligence and best practices to help protect endangered species.”

Giavanna Grein, senior programme officer for Traffic and the WWF, said: “The scale of wildlife trafficking online is very challenging to quantify given its illegal nature, but we know that online platforms like TikTok are essential to the solution.

“Since the Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online’s outset, the 39 participating companies have blocked or removed four million prohibited wildlife listings.

“We’re looking forward to working alongside TikTok and helping mobilise its millions of users to creatively prevent this illegal trade from growing on the platform.”