Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

“Let Me Take a Selfie”: Reviewing the Implications of Social Media for Public Perceptions of Wild Animals

Version 1 : Received: 8 April 2019 / Approved: 10 April 2019 / Online: 10 April 2019 (09:35:16 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Journal reference: Society and Animals 2020
DOI: 10.1163/15685306-BJA10023


Social media has become a powerful tool for spreading information and awareness campaigns on environmental issues, especially as they pertain to the conservation of wild animals. It is a double-edged sword, however, since it also facilitates the legal and illegal trade of wild animal species as well as the propagation of ‘wild animal selfies.’ This review presents some key literature to date which concerns the impact of social media on public perceptions of animals (such as through ‘viral’ videos), changing trends in animal encounters at wildlife tourism destinations, and the wildlife trade as it is facilitated by social media. Finally, avenues for future research are suggested with urgency, since the impact of social media on the welfare and conservation of wild animal species is most likely underestimated yet bears serious consequences.


social media; selfies; wild animals; wildlife tourism; wildlife trade

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