In a matter of seconds, anyone can find evidence of wildlife trafficking on Facebook, according to independent researchers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) experts. Even using simple search terms returns thousands of posts that offer wildlife and body parts up for sale. Elephant ivory from Thailand, pangolin scales from Vietnam, and sun bears from Malaysia. Tigers, walrus, tortoises, rhinos, sea turtles and shark fins have all been found for sale on the world’s biggest social media platform, even though it says it has banned the trade on its site. Patricia Tricorache, an independent wildlife researcher, monitors cheetah cubs appearing on social media every day. From her home in Mexico, she watches online as cheetahs exchange hands, shuffled from their home in the Horn of Africa to collectors’ homes in Saudi Arabia — posted on Facebook and its subsidiary, Instagram. The animals are likely doomed. Usually, cubs only last among traffickers and buyers for a few months before they die. But U.S.-headquartered Facebook, Tricorache says, is shielded by U.S. laws designed to protect free speech. As a result, the company, which boasts 2.7 billion global users, has long dodged responsibility for hosting wildlife traffickers — a trade that researchers say has only increased since the company committed to stopping it in 2019. “Facebook is like the cop that stands outside the house while the house is being robbed,” Tricorache says. “It’s like they’re watching all this happening and saying, ‘well it wasn’t my precinct or I wasn’t on duty,’…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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