Social media seems to have taken a rather strong view on internet bullying in recent months. While this is a welcome relief for those who fight against cyber-bullying and the devastating effects it can have on people, sometimes it would appear that these platforms haven’t quite worked out all the niggles just yet, and may even be taking things a tad too far in some cases.
As reported by Insider, Instagram’s anti-bullying policy seems to have been extended to animals as well. Actor Michael Rapaport had decided to collaborate with Wilfred Warrior, a Chinchilla Persian cat from London that has facial deformities, and has become a viral sensation as a result. But when the video of their collaboration was shared to the social media site, Rapaport later received a notification that it had been removed for not complying with their community standards, in particular for containing “content that targets private individuals to degrade or shame them.”
In the video, Wilfred Warrior could be seen sitting on a pathway in a garden, and Rapaport could be heard behind the camera swearing at the animal, calling him a “weird-looking f**king cat” as he yelled for his mother with Wilfred Warrior staring him down.
Warning: Video contains strong language.
The video, which was filmed with the permission and cooperation of Wilfred Warrior’s owners, whom Rapaport insists found the video just as funny as he did, was removed shortly after it was posted. The actor was furious over the reasoning and took to the social media site to rant about the ridiculousness of it all.
— The A.V. Club (@TheAVClub) December 1, 2018
Although it’s great that social media sites are finally clamping down on cyber-bullying on their platforms, many argued that a video in which the so-called “victim” being poked fun at is a cat was not a violation of the site’s bullying regulations. At the same time, the notification sent to Rapaport did not actually specify the exact reason the video was removed, but rather just listed in bullet points the community standards, which could mean it’s still anyone’s guess why Instagram decided to remove it.
Even though Instagram took exception to the video, those who want to view it are still able to do so on Rapaport’s Twitter and YouTube accounts, In all likelihood, though, it may only be a matter of time before someone else lodges a bullying complaint, causing the clip to get removed from those two sites as well.