The hidden impact of Social Media on Hunting

Exposing social media's quiet suppression of hunting. Join us and embrace HNTR as your refuge!

Social Media's Role in Hunting

Fredric Joos
Fredric Joos
Tuesday, April 16, 2024

In today's digital age, social media plays a crucial role in connecting people, sharing experiences, and shaping public perceptions. Even for a traditional industry like hunting, platforms like Instagram have become indispensable tools for showcasing passion, knowledge, and achievements. It's a place where hunters can inspire others, educate the uninformed, and build a sense of camaraderie within the hunting community. However, there's a growing issue thats casts a shadow over these digital hunting grounds.

The Consequences of Shadowbanning

A Stealthy Suppression

On average we spend a whopping 2h and 23 min/day on social media. The rapid growth of social platforms has created a need for significant content moderation on these platforms. The idea behind this practice is clear: to reduce harmful and inappropriate content. Seems logical and even noble when you read it like that. However there is a dark side of this practice and unfortunately it heavily affects us as a hunting community! This became clear when content moderation went further than the obvious harmful content, and started flagging hunting content as ‘inappropriate’. As a result, we saw a rapid increase in blocked accounts from hunters and brands, just because there was a gun or ethical harvested animal in the picture. What’s even worse than blocked content, is the practice of shadowbanning. Here the user receives no notification, but experiences a decrease in interactions as his account becomes invisible to a wider audience.

While this might seem innocent, the impact on hunting is more significant than you would think!

1. Less visibility for businesses

All across the hunting community we find enthusiastic people that passionately try to share their hunting adventures through captivating posts. However, despite their dedication and authenticity, their content often goes unnoticed, lost in the shadows by the phenomenon of shadowbanning. For businesses in the hunting industry, this effect is particularly devastating. Their efforts to expand and promote their services are significantly hindered as this censorship drastically reduces their reach and visibility in the community.

2. Limited awareness

The practice of censoring hunting content, also has broader consequences: it disconnects the public with hunting. By suppressing hunting-related content, many individuals remain uninformed about hunting's true essence, including its ethical and ecological dimensions. This only helps increase the gap between people and their food source (those “I hate hunting, but love wild venison!” people, fueling misconceptions about hunting.

3. Diminishing cross-over

One of the fascinating aspects of hunting is the diversity in traditions, cultures, and techniques. However, due to content restriction, information about these traditions isn't spread across the community. This results in hunters being 'digitally isolated' from the rich hunting traditions, decreasing the knowledge of hunting in general. As one of the leading influencers in France, Feliew has experienced this impact firsthand. Growing his Instagram account has become an impossible task, with content limited to early followers who are mostly French. Crossing over to other countries and audiences has become nearly impossible!

Conclusion: Uniting Hunters, Elevating Experiences

In this era of digital communication, censorship of content and shadowbanning are practices that we as a hunting community must confront. Initially, these practices may appear inconsequential, but over the long term, they will have a substantial negative impact.  We must be aware of this practice and its impact on our beloved passion.

As a passionate hunter, we therefore created HNTR. A mobile hunting app with a strong community focus. We provide a refuge where passionate hunters can freely share their experiences and knowledge without the fear of negativity or shadowbanning. We hope to bridge the gap between hunting cultures, educate the uninformed, and raise awareness about the true essence of hunting.

As we navigate the intricate landscape of social media, let us remember that our shared passion for hunting should not be obscured. Instead, let it shine brightly, for in unity, we can truly elevate our hunting experiences.