Anti-hunters from across the globe have managed to garner almost 15,000 signatures in a petition that seeks to ban photos of hunters posing with their harvest from Facebook. The petition, which was started over three months ago by change.org user Ollie Raison, has gained traction in recent days, mostly due to a series of posts floating around on the social media landscape.
Raison, who lives in London, United Kingdom, addresses hunters in the initial paragraph of his petition on change.org, saying that the document is not an anti-hunting statement because it doesn’t actually seek to end legal hunting activities.
“This is not an anti-hunting petition,” Raison says on change.org. “You have a legal right to hunt. What this petition is trying to achieve, is to have Facebook acknowledge that certain images are not suitable for social media. This includes glorifying hunting by posing for smiling photos with ‘trophies’.”
In other words, Raison wishes to see Facebook, the largest social media network in the world with 1.3 billion active users, exclusively and subjectively sensor hunters by prohibiting them from sharing post-harvest pictures celebrating their accomplishments.
“Humans have been sharing stories of the hunt through visual means since man first painted scenes on the walls of caves 40,000 years ago,” said USSA Digital Media Specialist Cam Pauli. “Sharing our success and passion for the outdoors is an integral part of who we are as a hunting community. Social platforms like Facebook allow us to celebrate the hunt with friends and family as people did thousands of years ago. The medium has changed, people haven’t.”
Pauli went on to say that he doesn’t believe Facebook will be censoring average hunters anytime soon.
“Facebook operates in a very grey area when it comes to the type of hunting photos they choose to remove from Facebook,” Pauli explained. “More often than not, Facebook only takes down photos when a large number of users report the content.”
Anti-hunters have taken advantage of this method and consistently use this strategy against targets, like they did with Melissa Bachman, Kendall Jones, and most recently, Rebecca Francis.
“Sportsmen can circumnavigate many of these issues by simply posting tasteful images of their harvest to Facebook, and by adjusting their filter settings,” said Pauli. “If a friend or a Facebook user messages you about a photo, respond in calm fashion and ask them to unfollow or unfriend you. Should a situation escalate, you can always reach out to the people at U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance for more help or guidance.”
Not everyone has to agree with our hunting heritage and way of life, but that doesn’t mean we should allow ourselves to be censored due to the radical opinions of anti-hunters.