Online tech companies in the Coalition to End the Online Wildlife Trade have reported removing or blocking more than 11.6 million endangered species listings and related products from their online platforms from 2018 to the present. The list includes live tigers, reptiles, primates, birds sold as pets, as well as products derived from elephants, pangolins and sea turtles.
In addition to removing and blocking millions of listings and posts, the companies are also raising awareness of threats to endangered species and understanding what content is to ban on company platforms and user-reporting mechanisms with more than 1 billion social media interactions, a statement from TRAFFIC.
The alliance was initiated by three organizations WWF, TRAFFIC, IFAW in 2018 and up to now, the number of participating companies has increased from 21 to 47 including companies with operations across Africa, Asia, and Europe, Americas and more than 11 billion user accounts worldwide.
Crawford Allan, Senior Director of TRAFFIC said: “Since the 2020 update to date, companies have removed an additional 8.3 million wildlife listings. This is due to the increasing availability of wildlife online and the subsequent response by companies to address the threat, including enhanced automated detection systems. While this represents only a small fraction of wildlife trafficked online, we will continue to scale with the determined efforts of many companies globally.”
Member companies have taken a variety of actions to contribute to this progress, including strengthening wildlife policies, strengthening employees’ ability to detect animal products potentially illegal wildlife and live animals, dealing with suspicious listings reported by wildlife experts and volunteers in the Coalition’s Online Wildlife Detection Program, raising algorithmically through provided search terms, generate links, and enable alert mode to empower users to report suspicious content and share effective methods.
“Volunteers are trained as part of the Cyber Wildlife Detection Program. They are provided with information on priority species, such as elephants, birds, reptiles, and whenever they suspect a violation, they notify us, who then share the information with other platforms. relevant platform for further action,” said Lionel Hachemin of IFAW.
The online wildlife trade is driven by consumer demand for wildlife products such as ivory, rhino horn and big cat skin, as well as for pets trafficked as pets. The illegal wildlife trade, both online and in the physical marketplace, is destroying populations of wild species and contributing to catastrophic biodiversity loss globally.
Platform users can protect endangered species #OfflineandIntheWild by consulting the Alliance’s prohibited wildlife policy framework to understand which species should not be traded and reporting the list directly on company platform or through the Alliance’s online reporting site.