Social media is proving to be a battleground for hunting once again.
In recent years, quite a number of hunters – especially women – have been targeted online after posting photos of themselves with the game they’ve legally taken. The victims have ranged from celebrities to everyday hunters. Many received death threats, with people going so far as to post personal information, such as their home addresses.
Most recently, a woman named Rebecca Francis has even had people suggest raping her children since she posted photos of herself posing with a giraffe she shot. She’s defended shooting the animal, which she said was utilized by local villagers for its meat, bones and more.
Now, though, some people want to just keep hunters from being allowed to post hunting photos to Facebook in the first place.
A man from London named Ollie Raison is behind a petition on change.org that calls on Facebook to prohibit the posting of photos of hunters with their trophies. It’s gotten almost 16,000 signatures.
In his petition, Raison tries to define what he wants, and what he doesn’t.
“This is not an anti-hunting petition,” he wrote. “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.’”
He seems especially upset that people may accidentally come across photos they don’t like, and can’t do anything to get them taken down.
“As it currently stands, although Facebook allows users to report certain photos, there is nothing to allow Facebook users to report these particular images, which are incredibly offensive to an awfully large amount of people,” Raison writes..
One national sportsmen’s group said it’s OK that Raison and some other people don’t like hunting. But that doesn’t meant they should have the right to decide who gets to put what on Facebook and other social media platforms, added the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance.
“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,” the group said in a statement.
“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,” added the group’s 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.”