chimp on computer screen

Apes and Monkeys Are Being Tortured On Social Media – Let’s End This, with SMACC’s Nicola O’Brien | S2E40

“With primates in particular we see content that is very clearly violence, abuse, torture…there’s even people that will pay for such content to be made.”

Nicola O’Brien is the Lead Coordinator for SMACC. She previously worked as Campaigns Director at Freedom for Animals, is a Trustee for Tiny Pawz, and has a 20 year history of campaigning and fundraising for various animal protection organizations. She studied Animal Welfare, Biology, and Conservation at the University of Lincoln, UK. 


Click HERE to watch SMACC’s video guidance on reporting animal abuse on social media

Click HERE to report your concerns directly to SMACC

According to SMACC, here are the five steps YOU can take to stop online cruelty.


Abuse isn’t always obvious. Sometimes we come across content that on the surface appears innocent, but in reality the animals are suffering. Educate yourself on the different types of animal abuse that exist.


Always report the content to the social media platform. Sometimes it takes an accumulation of reports before a photo or video is removed, so don’t be disheartened if the content isn’t taken down right away.


Views help the content gain more exposure – the algorithm boosts any content that gets attention and makes them even more visible. 


Don’t interact in any way – even negative comments and ‘dislikes’ will boost the content. It is better not to react at all and simply report it. 


Even if you are trying to raise awareness – again, ANY form of engagement will increase not only the popularity of the content but also the chance of profitability for the person who posted it. 

In part two of the podcast, Nicola explains how the exploitation of animals on social media further fuels the illgal wildlife trade, resulting in already endangered species hunted and stolen from the wild:

SMACC is a branch of Asia for Animals Coalition – click HERE to visit their website. 

    • Thanks for your comments! Have a listen to the episode. We discuss the vast range of abuses, from the more subtle (yet still terribly cruel) issues like pet primates and photo props, to outright violence. Thank you.