#ShockWildlifeTruths: Major tech companies form coalition to fight online wildlife trafficking

2018-03-09 15:32 - Gabi Zietsman
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Cape Town - On Wednesday it was announced that major companies like Facebook, Google, Instagram and eBay have formed a Global Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online.

Founded by a partnership between Google and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the coalition groups the world's biggest e-commerce, technology and social media platforms together to make it harder for illegal wildlife traffickers to market and sell their goods through their websites.

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These 21 companies from North America, Asia, Europe and Africa pledged to reduce this illegal activity on its platforms by 80% by 2020: Alibaba, Baidu, Baixing, eBay, Etsy, Facebook, Google, Huaxia Collection, Instagram, Kuaishou, Mall for Africa, Microsoft, Pinterest, Qyer, Ruby Lane, Shengshi Collection, Tencent, Wen Wan Tian Xia, Zhongyikupai, Zhuanzhuan and 58 Group, convened by WWF, TRAFFIC and IFAW.

As many governments are cracking down on face-to-face sales, many wildlife traffickers turn to online for safer transactions of their goods to consumers, especially in the 'deep web'.

The coalition aims to share lessons and best practices between each other and wildlife organisations will provide the companies with up-to-date data and other information that will help them flag suspicious content.

"Addressing this issue as a coalition with many of the most influential industry leaders is a significant milestone in ending online wildlife trafficking. We all have a role to play in ensuring that a world without rhinos, elephants, tigers and thousands of other creatures does not become a reality," says WWF in a statement.

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Blood Lions is very excited about the news and sees this as a "significant breakthrough".

"Until now, the online marketing and selling done by criminal syndicates and illegal traders have provided them with anonymity that has enabled their dealings.

"By joining forces publicly, this initiative will also empower individual users of the internet to get involved by reporting suspect postings or trades,' says Blood Lions.