Showing posts with label social media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label social media. Show all posts

Thursday 28 January 2021

Picture of a cat on hiking trip. Is it an unrealistic dream?

I'm asking the simple question whether it is a good idea to take your cat hiking. You put your cat in a backpack and off you go. The picture looks great. You are stimulating your cat to the maximum. Your cat has got used to it and therefore 'behaves'. It has taken some time to achieve this. Because at the beginning your cat wouldn't cooperate. 

You tried a lead and she just fell over so it's taken months and months to get her to the position where she cooperates and comes along with you on a hiking trip. But when you go for a walk along a hiking trail she wants to go left and right and stop and sniff. So you make about a mile of progress and consider that to be a great success. Then you go back to your campervan.

Picture of a domestic cat on a hiking trip. Is it an unrealistic dream that is being sold? Pic in public domain.

It is a good idea? That's why I have put the question inside the picture. Because it looks really good but we do not know what happens behind the scene? You see some wonderful photographs of cats in beautiful places on Instagram. You might see a cat with a dog and they have been carefully arranged. The background is magnificent with mountains and lakes or a superb forest. A lot of work goes into this photography and the distinct impression is 'great success'.

But is it just a dream that is being sold to people? It's a dream to people who live in the urban environment. Who struggle with day-to-day living. Their cat is a full-time indoor cat because it's unsafe outside. The owners of the cat love their cat and want to do more for them but they struggle to earn a living and therefore are not at home enough.

They worry that their cat is stressed and they want to enrich the life of their cat. The pictures on Instagram of a beautiful Bengal cat in front of a lake switches them on to the possibility that they could give their cat this kind of life.

But, and this is the big but, is it really feasible? Is it too complicated? Is it workable? Is it viable? Are the people who publish these photographs on social media simply doing it as a business to make money and to become influencers? That is probably what is happening but they are inadvertently or deliberately selling a dream. A dream that is probably and possibly unattainable for the vast majority of people. It may be impractical and probably is.

If my assessment is somewhere near correct then I don't think the social media cat hiking picture stories are helpful to people. Because it will lead people into believing that they are a failure in respect of cat caretaking.

Tuesday 15 September 2020

Cat carries leash and harness to owner to ask to go for a walk

This cat really likes to go for a walk on a lead so much that she brings the harness and lead to her owner as a way of asking her to take her outside for a late night stroll. Unfortunately it was way too late because it was apparently 3 a.m. in the morning! What are they doing up at 3 a.m. in the morning? It doesn't matter, this is peak time for a domestic cat. 

Arya asks to go for a walk outside on a leash.

This is the middle of the day for this cat whose name is Arya. It's quite unusual for a cat to be leash trained effectively and obviously even more unusual for a cat to really like going for a walk on a leash.

The video is on the social media site TiKtoK where it has racked up 2.6 million views.
A lot of viewers are sympathetic towards Arya. They seem to be saying that her owner should have gone out at 3 a.m.! Yeh, I agree. If you live with a domestic cat you have to do a night shift sometimes!

One problem with leash training is that the harness, which is quite thick, replicates the effect of a product called the Thundershirt. This is a calming vest. It sort of immobilises cats and thick harnesses can immobilise cats to the point where they simply lie on the ground or they wobble while walking. So when you leash train your cat you have to overcome this aspect of the process as well as encouraging them to walk along with you rather than stopping and sitting or doing precisely as they please.

All that said, it is great to see a cat being leash trained because it's a way of overcoming the dangers of taking a cat outside. I don't know where this was made. It looks like either the Middle East or Asia. I think I favour something like Indonesia or Malaysia, but I am speculating wildly. Ayra is a dilute brown tabby and white with very faint markings. She is a random bred cat. Her TiKToK page is called: aryathelittlecat.

Friday 11 September 2020

Social media giants delete evidence of criminality

The story relates to extremists avoiding justice because the tech giants fail to archive social media posts of violence but I would like to extend that to animal abuse and cruelty which is so bad that it is a crime. I have bumped into examples of animal abuse on social media websites which is evidence for a potential successful prosecution under animal welfare statutes. It is not uncommon but the criminals are becoming more savvy.

Social media images can be used as evidence in crime
Image in the public domain

A report by Human Rights Watch found that social media websites were removing violent imagery without preserving a copy which denies future prosecutors the chance to access vital evidence in potential future prosecutions.

Human Rights Watch's report is called Video Unavailable and it was published yesterday. They want social media websites to archive imagery which can be used as evidence. Social media website were indeed caught flat-footed when terrorist organisations promoted their objectives through video and still images. They social media sites reacted quite strongly partly because advertisers were distraught at the fact that their adverts were being associated with violence of the worst kind.

Algorithms perhaps driven by artificial intelligence nowadays are used to pick out these images and videos and delete them. I am a great fan of artificial intelligence but they need refining currently and they need rewriting to preserve evidence. I don't know whether these algorithms are written to detect animal abuse and animal cruelty images and videos. I would hope that they are. Apparently some algorithms are programmed to filter out posts and images before the content is published. This, too, is detrimental in terms of accruing evidence against criminals.

We all know, including the FBI in America, that animal cruelty is linked to a progression to violence against people. Therefore it is an important part of the criminal world and the investigation of serious crime.

Social media posts have helped to convicted war criminals. These posts have also helps human rights groups and investigative journalist to highlight abuse.

Thursday 1 March 2018

People Begin to Distrust Facebook

A YouGov poll discovered that Facebook is losing its credibility or more precisely local newspapers are three times more trusted for news than social media platforms such as Facebook.

Local newspapers are considered the most credible in terms of providing the news. Obviously it is regional news but local newspapers lead local television and radio and search engines in terms of trustworthiness.

Seventy-four percent (74%) of people trust the information that they read in their local newspaper both online and in print whereas 22% trust local news presented on social media platforms such as Facebook.

It appears that the stories about fake news has made Britons skeptical about the news that they read on Facebook. Fewer than a quarter of people trust social media in contrast to 61% who trust traditional media such as newspapers and television.

This is ironic because both Facebook and Google have taken a large slice of classified revenues relied upon by local and national newspapers. The press is becoming increasingly unsustainable and the UK government is reviewing the situation because closing 200 local papers over the past decade is a threat to democracy.

I hope that this poll helps drive people away from Facebook and back to a more trusted source, the local newspaper. How does this impact the world of cats? Well, there is a lot of cat news on Facebook. A lot of cat welfare happens on Facebook. I get some of my stories from Facebook. We need to be able to trust this dominant social media platform and it appears that currently we are unable to do so.

As an aside, I should say that when I'm writing articles about the domestic cat or wild cat species I ensure that my primary sources are books written by the best authors. In this way I'm able to go to the root source of information rather than relying upon second or third hand information which is often presented on the Internet. We always need to go back to basics.

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