This viral video of a chimp browsing Instagram is facing criticism from primatologists

Apr 27, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

This viral video of a chimp browsing Instagram is facing criticism from primatologists

Apr 27, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Many of us get enthralled in social media these days. And for photographers, that means Instagram in particular. But one Instagram user is going viral for a very unusual reason. They’re a chimpanzee. They scroll through the feeds, look at images and videos then flick back like a pro.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwf080_Bfby/

Posted to Instagram by conservation advocate Mike Holston, the video has received already seen over 1.6 million views. While the ease with which the Chimp manages to navigate Instagram, or even understand the concept of a touch screen smartphone, is quite incredible, not everybody is happy about the video.

It faces criticism from world-famous and highly regarded English primatologist, Dr Jane Goodall, widely considered the leading expert on chimpanzees.

In response to the Instagram video, a post on the Jane Goodall blog quotes Dr Goodall as saying…

I am very disappointed to see the inappropriate portrayal of a juvenile chimpanzee in this video which is currently circulating on social media. Chimpanzees are highly social animals, very intelligent and have complex emotions like humans – it is imperative that we portray them appropriately and that they receive the best possible care in captive environments.

Portraying chimpanzees in this way on social media is also perpetuating the illegal pet trade in great apes, and as they cannot be domesticated, interactions with humans as displayed by this video are highly dangerous, as well as harmful to the well-being of the chimpanzee. 

– Dr Jane Goodall

While videos like this often seem very cute, and in this case even impressive, they can also do far more harm than good, especially when it comes to the public perception of an animal as a species.

Given the current issues facing the planet, with countless species being wiped out in the past handful of decades and many more on the brink of extinction today, we as a species of our own should probably think more carefully about what we post to social media.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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4 responses to “This viral video of a chimp browsing Instagram is facing criticism from primatologists”

  1. Antonio Malcolm Avatar
    Antonio Malcolm

    What’s wrong with watching a chimp scroll a cellphone. We see that all the time in US cities.

    Antonio Malcolm
    Gamer, Programmer, FANDOM Expert

  2. Adrian J Nyaoi Avatar
    Adrian J Nyaoi

    Next thing you know, every new ig influencer has a chimp. Not a good thing.

  3. Maestro Avatar
    Maestro

    No, it helps people realize how amazingly intelligent and sentient these chimps are.

    I love Jan Goodall but she’s wrong here.