Today, on behalf of our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, we sent the CEOs of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok an urgent letter asking each one to enact a zero-tolerance policy against users posting videos or photos in which they’re shown harming animals and to immediately—and permanently—ban anyone who does so.
Last month, a user of Twitch (a live-streaming platform for gamers) known as Alinity Divine came under fire for throwing her cat over her shoulder during a livestream.
And just this week, YouTuber Brooke Houts posted footage of herself hitting, shoving, screaming at, and apparently spitting on her dog.
DOGS DESERVE RESPECT. IF YOU CAN'T TREAT DOGS WITH KINDNESS AND INSTEAD HIT THEM, DON'T GET ONE.
— PETA (@peta) August 7, 2019
Videos like these are extremely dangerous, because they may normalize treating animals disrespectfully or even physically abusing them—particularly for impressionable viewers, including these platforms’ younger users. They also increase the risk of “copycat” behavior by people who are desperate for publicity and attention—even the negative kind.
And while many people are rightfully outraged by videos like these, public scorn—which often moves on to the next scandal in a day or two—is not enough to prevent this kind of abuse. There must be consequences.
Animals deserve to be treated with respect and kindness—not to be slapped, grabbed, spit on, or thrown.
Tens of thousands of people have supported our calls for Twitch and YouTube to remove the users mentioned above. So we urge these platforms and all others: Make it clear to users that abusing animals—on or off camera—will not be tolerated.
You Can Help by Reporting Cruelty
If you spot an instance of animal abuse on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, or TikTok, click the “Report” button. We urge everyone to report incidents of cruelty to animals whenever they’re witnessed. Click below to learn more.