Viral Instagram sticker promises to plant trees in return for pet pictures – but there is not likely to be any forest

Andrew Griffin
Monday 08 November 2021 18:59
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A trend that has seen cats, dogs and other animals posted millions of times on Instagram with the promise of trees appears to be false.

It promises that “we’ll plant 1 tree for every pet picture,” next to an emoji of a dog.

At the time of publication, 2.3 million people had shared photos of their pets. But there’s no indication that they have done anything more than that.

The sticker does not seem to be linked to any official campaign. It is not possible to see who started the trend – meaning that there is no way to check that any trees will actually be planted.

It is not clear who the “we” that would plant the trees is, or anything else about the campaign.

It appears that, as has so often happened on the internet, people have just found an ingenious – if tricksy – way to encourage people to post pictures of their pets.

That is not to say, of course, that there is not anyone planning to plant the promised trees. Given the original person who made the sticker is not known, there is no way to verify that it is not true – but it seems likely to be false.

It does however give an easy way to see the pet pictures that have been posted by friends to Instagram stories. Clicking on the small set of profile pictures on the sticker will bring up a page showing everyone who has participated, and clicking on those stories will let you see whatever pet picture they have chosen to post.

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