Thank you for reaching out with your concerns of online abuse. These displays of violence can be terribly disturbing. We sincerely thank you for your concern and for your interest in getting this content removed. The internet has become saturated with video-sharing websites, many of which have become venues for users to upload images of animal cruelty.
Unfortunately, it is exceedingly difficult to obtain animal cruelty prosecutions in cases where alleged animal abuse is posted online, because of the difficulty in identifying the date and location of the abuse, as well as the identity of the abuser. This is further complicated when it is impossible to determine the original source and how many times the videos have been shared.
The best practice is to report disturbing content on the platforms they are posted on, like YouTube, Facebook, GoFundMe, etc. Reporting the video to the platform helps to get videos removed. It may take some time, but we recommend continuing to report videos that you feel should be removed.
Most often, the best we can hope for is for the website’s ISP (internet service provider) to remove the offensive images or video content in order to hopefully prevent the proliferation of copycat videos. Some ISPs, such as Google, have Terms of Service agreements that prohibit offensive material.
To report internet animal cruelty, you have several options:
- Contact the AFA and report the site.
- Report through Facebook’s policy on offensive content:
Facebook maintains a robust reporting infrastructure that leverages our hundreds of millions of users to look for offensive or potentially dangerous content. This reporting infrastructure includes links on pages across the Facebook site, systems to prioritize the most serious reports, and a team of professional reviewers who respond to reports and escalate them to law enforcement as needed. We encourage our users to report any offensive or inappropriate content by clicking on the "Report" links located on pages throughout the site.
- Read about YouTube’s abuse policies and report offensive images on YouTube by clicking the “flag video” link.
- If the offensive website involves selling, trading or offering of goods/services, contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Select "money" when asked what the incident you are reporting involves. IIC3 will evaluate your report and refer it to the appropriate federal, state, local or international law enforcement or regulatory agencies
- Write to the ISPs that you visit regularly and encourage them to regulate their websites for animal cruelty. For example, many of our members have written (and continue to write) to YouTube, urging them to monitor for animal cruelty videos and reiterating that the only purpose of such videos is shock value, which the majority of their viewers finds outrageously offensive.
In 2009, the HSUS was on the frontlines fighting for a federal law that would put a stop to the proliferation of animal abuse videos. In December 2010, President Obama signed into law H.R. 5566, the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010, which addressed the creation and circulation of these videos. There were several loopholes with this Act, so Congress later passed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT Act) of 2019. The PACT Act covers the abuse seen within the crush videos, but not addressed directly in the Act, as well as including malicious acts of animal cruelty in the language of the Act. We do the best we can to flag these videos and have them removed from the public domain and we thank you for your willingness to help. Please be sure to let us know if there is anything else we can do to help you.