There are a lot of anti-animal cruelty posts popping up on my Facebook feed at the moment. They go along the lines of ‘What an awful person / Let’s find this person / This person should be prison’ etc followed by an image of the individual(s) carrying out the abuse or an image of the result of the abuse. Often I find myself staring at a dead dog before my brain has had a chance to catch up with why I’m seeing this. A few weeks ago whilst scrolling through my Facebook feed a video of a cat being set on fire started playing without me asking it to. I cannot ever un-see this and it haunts me.
Now, I know that the people publishing the anti-animal cruelty posts have good intentions. They feel that by making these despicable acts known on the world wide web, the individual(s) will be named and shamed and receive some kind of retribution. They think it helps.
I think the opposite. I think that by posting and sharing these images you are doing exactly what the abusers want you to do. You are publicising their actions.
Ask yourself ‘Why do these images exist in the first place?’. Answer: the abuser or the witnesses of the abuse took them and they took them for a reason. You know what these reasons are. Just because you write a condemning message in the prelude to the photo, doesn’t change its original intent. Say they took the image in order to gloat and show off, then all of a sudden its gone viral on Facebook because people are so outraged. Well they are getting the notoriety they wanted aren’t they? Its irrelevant that you are saying something negative about them, to them they have suddenly become ‘famous’.
Famous for being an arsehole, is still famous.
Its also very likely that these images are being distributed by sites who do it for the shock value. They are deliberately provoking you. They want you to be disgusted, write angry comments and share share share! Why? Because it brings more traffic to their site, that’s why. And what does more traffic mean? More advertising moo-lah, thats what!
If you disagree with me, ask Peta – they take a similar view.
I’m not saying that we should live in ignorance and pretend its not happening. I’m not saying you shouldn’t publish posts about helping animal charities or raising money. I’m saying that you shouldn’t dance to an abusers tune.
Don’t share images of their cruelty.