A new report from animal protection groups Lady Freethinker (LFT) and Action for Primates (AfP) reveals that the world’s top social media platforms are allowing content showing infant macaques being brutally tortured and killed to be posted and shared at an alarming rate.
The report, Monkey Abuse on Social Media, reveals that online platforms Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and X (formerly known as Twitter) have hosted videos of infant macaques being set on fire, strangled, drowned, killed, and having parts of their bodies cut off — including limbs, genitals, fingers and toes.
The groups logged 857 videos and images on social media depicting monkey torture and abuse between May 2023 and October 2023. Many of the videos remained live at the time of this report’s publication, with other abusive content being posted daily. The videos logged are just a snapshot of the monkey torture videos that were promoted and circulated on social media platforms in this time frame.
The majority of the content was found on Facebook, with 768 videos and images documented from the platform. Facebook is also where some of the worst cruelty was found, including videos showing monkeys being sealed inside glass jars, a monkey having their eyes drilled out with a power tool, another having their arm ripped off at the shoulder, and another who was hacked to pieces with a box cutter.
Of all videos where viewing data was obtained, which was about half of all the videos included in the report, view counts totaled over 300,000,000.
You can view the comprehensive report here.
Nina Jackel, founder and president of Lady Freethinker, stated: “Violent, sadistic content has no place on social media, where users of all ages may be exposed to horrific animal cruelty. We’re calling on Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and X to put systems in place to swiftly remove posts promoting animal cruelty and take strong measures to stop it from being posted in the first place.”
Dr Nedim Buyukmihci, veterinarian and co-founder of Action for Primates, stated: “As a veterinarian with many decades of experience, I have never witnessed the degree of sadism I have seen in these videos. What the people are doing to these infant monkeys is particularly grotesque and disturbing. It is untenable that any social media company would tolerate the existence of such individuals and groups on their platforms, not only because of the appalling nature of the atrocities being inflicted upon non-human primates, but also because of the harmful and damaging impact the viewing of such content will have on people, especially children.”
Lady Freethinker and Action for Primates are urging everyone to never watch, comment, share, or otherwise interact with monkey torture videos, as doing so helps boost the posts’ visibility and views, and is reminding everyone to always report videos depicting animal cruelty to platforms’ reporting systems.
If you haven’t already, please sign the petition urging Facebook to do more to prevent animal torture content from appearing on their platforms.