Instagram Cautions Users Over #quokkaselfie Hashtag
Instagram users who click on the #quokkaselfie hashtag are being met with a pop-up warning about animal abuse.
“Animal abuse and the sale of endangered animals or their part is not allowed on Instagram,” it reads.
“You are search for a hashtag that may be associated with posts that encourage harmful behaviour to animals or the environment.”
The warning follows the most recent post by Aussie actress Margot Robbie who used the hashtag.
The post has since netted more than 1.8 million likes.
Praise also came from the WA tourism minister Paul Papalia who, at the time, said the idea of had been floated with Robbie and was "delighted" when he saw the post, particularly after attempts to get Ed Sheeran to have a #quokkaselfie hadn't worked out.
“We hope it becomes the thing you do as a celebrity visiting WA,” he said on Tuesday.
The latest move from Instagram hasn’t impressed the Rottnest Island Authority.
PerthNow reported that acting executive director Michelle Reynolds had been working with Instagram to remove the notice.
A spokesman said the pop-up doesn’t serve to educate or inform about conservation efforts or understanding of quokkas.
“The RIA takes seriously its responsibility to protect the quokka population on the island and there are significant penalties for people who interfere with native flora and fauna.”
The ‘learn more’ button directs users to Instagram’s help page which features a few lines on animal exploitation in general.
In December, tennis legend Roger Federer had also posted a similar selfie when he was in Perth for the Hopman Cup which attracted more that half a million likes.