Most of us would have seen some sort of animal abuse online, mainly via social media platforms. One particularly horrendous and disturbing video of a man attacking a white dog with a baseball bat has stuck with me for weeks now. I will not be posting the video or even a still of this on this blog as it is something that can not be unseen and is incredibly disturbing to anyone, animal lover or not.
A lot of my friends are choosing to unfriend their friends that post these videos, which I can understand to a degree but if you think about it, this does absolutely nothing to help the poor defenceless animals that are subjected to this kind of abuse.
I am interested in finding out how we can find out who these people are so that they can be held accountable for their disgusting acts. I contacted the RSPCA first to see if they have a department within their charity that focuses on online videos, social media cruelty. When I called their main number for reporting animal cruelty (0300 1234999) I was told that I needed to complain to the owner of the social media platform, in this case Facebook and give them my views on this particular video. When I explained that I felt that just taking down the video would not actually do what I had set out to achieve and that I was really interested in knowing if the RSCPA have a department that try and investigate exactly where these videos have come from, I was directed to the website.
I was told to create an account in ‘My RSPCA’ and send an enquiry detailing my concerns, which is what I did. The response was a little cryptic and certainly not a straight answer to my questions of ‘Do you have a department that deals directly with online cruelty’ but I was told to send as many details as possible, the social media platform, the persons name and details of the video to them so that they could investigate this further. They did say that they can only investigate acts of cruelty within the UK so if the video was from outside the UK, which is often the case, they could not take action.
I was left feeling pretty disappointed to be honest and a little deterred but I do think that if everyone was to take this course of action instead of just deleting the Facebook friend that posted the video, it may have a positive effect in the long run and bring attention and investigation by the RSPCA to these distressing videos.
I would love to know if any anyone else has had any experiences of trying to report these kind of videos? Please do let me know.