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What You Can Do about Web Sites that Promote Animal Cruelty

The Humane Society of the United States frequently receives correspondence from individuals concerned about sites on the Internet that celebrate and encourage the exploitation of animals. In many cases, what appears to be illegal activity is actually protected under the law as free speech.

If you see a web site that promotes or glorifies animal cruelty or exploitation, take these steps:

1. Do not contact the person running the site. In many cases, creators of offensive web sites are encouraged by the negative attention they receive in response to their site. For this reason, we discourage people from e-mailing or otherwise contacting the individuals who run offensive web sites.

2. Contact the Internet Service Provider (ISP) hosting the site. In response to complaints they receive from concerned visitors, ISPs have in many cases removed sites because they determined that the sites' content violated the ISP's User's Agreement. Click here to find the ISP for a site that ends in .com, .net, or .org. Click here to find the ISP for a site in an international domain (such as .uk or .ch).

3. Resist spreading the word. If you have concerns about a web site, contact your elected officials. Please do not contact friends and neighbors. Many well-intentioned individuals believe that the best course of action is to tell all of their friends and relatives about such web sites. Sometimes online petitions against a site will be generated. Ultimately, such petitions or mass emails only increase the number of visitors to a web site, encouraging the site's creator.

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