Social Media Contexts Moderate Perceptions of Animals
Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, The University of Edinburgh, Scotland EH25 9RG, UK
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Received: 24 April 2020 / Revised: 1 May 2020 / Accepted: 6 May 2020 / Published: 14 May 2020
Social media sites may contribute to the changing ways we see animals. On these sites, people can present animals in different contexts, depending on what message they want to convey, and this may change how people perceive animals, for example making people more likely to want an exotic species as a pet. We showed a mock-up site to 211 people. All people were shown the same image of a primate, but half were shown a negative story and half were shown a positive story. People shown the negative story thought that the primate was more stressed. People responded cautiously to the social media site, even when they thought the primate was stressed. We conclude that social media may not be an honest representation of how people think about primates.