People Buy Personalized Baby Monkey Torture Videos from World’s Worst Forum

People are setting up private group chats and forums to buy and share personalized videos of baby monkey torture, an investigation by animal rights groups Action for Primates and Free thinker lady has found.

The two groups were first approached by a source who obtained screenshots and videos from a private forum and later from a Telegram group used by users. Motherboard spoke independently with the source, who requested anonymity because she feared retaliation from the monkey torturing forum users. Some of the group’s videos have been shared in private and public Facebook groups and on YouTube. Motherboard separately consulted Facebook pages and monkey-centric groups that show videos of monkeys suffering, advertised as a “drop” of content.

While some of the videos posted to Facebook are heartbreaking, the content on the forum (which has since been deleted by its host) and the Telegram group is truly shocking and horrifying. Users pay to “adopt” baby long-tailed macaques in Indonesia, who are then subjected to brutal torture according to their requests. Users can choose between buying their own monkey or a “part” in one.

In one video, a monkey howls when his finger is cut. In another, a monkey is repeatedly kicked in the face and then subjected to waterboarding. Other videos show, among other things, skinned, pierced, cut, beaten and burnt monkeys. Other screenshots show a baby monkey tied to a crucifix.

“You’ll pay the full price for the adopted monkey,” wrote one user who appeared to be a forum moderator in a screenshot. “You then own this monkey and get five applications included in the adoption fee.” After that, it’s $ 20 per video request.

“The $ 20 videos should of course exclude things like death unless the topic is at the end of its usefulness,” read another comment. “And the cost might have to increase in increments of 5, for example, if death could possibly occur from buyers. [sic] ask. ”Another post calls these“ stress monkeys ”:“ If you could name it, make a limited number of requests for what you want it to do (with some limits), and receive 10 exclusive videos for your own “mini”. -series “of your monkey with the option to have it killed in the final video, would you pay $ 130 for that? $ 150?”

Both advocacy groups claim the group pays the people who film and perform the torture through PayPal. During a phone call with Motherboard, a spokesperson for PayPal said the platform removed the accounts involved in 2020, but did not provide further details.

According to Action for Primates and Lady Freethinker, the disturbing ring was first coordinated via a forum on Forumotion, a free forum hosting platform. Forumactif then removed the platform at the end of last month after being reported by both groups.

After being removed, more than 30 forum users moved to a private Telegram group, which was also removed after Action for Primates and Lady Freethinker made their findings public.

Forumactif and Telegram did not respond to Motherboard’s request for comment.

Screenshots from the Telegram group show that users are happily sharing the abuse. “Here’s a little taste of what I got from tonight,” wrote one user above an image of a baby monkey crucified on a tree.

Lady Freethinker founder Nina Jackel told Motherboard that members of the Telegram group are actively recruiting users on YouTube and Facebook. YouTube, in particular, fails to remove videos depicting animal cruelty, she said, even after they were flagged by her and others.

“By allowing abusive channels to run for months, if not years, YouTube, Facebook and other platforms allow animal cruelty fetishists to go online and escalate their cruel and illegal activities to sickening levels.” , said Jackel. “The suffering of these monkeys is real and heartbreaking. Social media can and must do better to stop animal torture for fun and profit. “

In a screenshot of a since deleted YouTube comment, a user writes “[o]k, I’m curious about the community now ”, to which another user replies,“ Excellent! I can’t post about it here. I have to keep the Karens out. I promise it’s worth it. Let me know if you see this.

Motherboard found several videos still on YouTube illustrating the abuse of monkeys. In one video, a group of men tie a monkey to a set of wooden beams and break its legs. At the end of the video, he looks dead.

In an email to Motherboard, YouTube pointed out that animal abuse was not allowed on its platform and that it had removed nine channels reported by Lady Freethinker and Action for Primates.

“Content depicting violence or animal abuse has never been allowed on YouTube,” a spokesperson wrote. “We apply our policies using a combination of machine learning and human review, and periodically review our policies to ensure they are up to date. Earlier this year, we expanded our violent and graphic politics around animal abuse content, to more clearly prohibit content featuring deliberate physical suffering or harm to animals, including content featuring animal rescue that has been staged and placed the animal in damaging scenarios.

Yet animal rights groups like Lady Freethinker, far too many animal cruelty videos continue to slip through the cracks. As the group contacted US and Indonesian law enforcement, Jackel wondered if Telegram groups like this are just the tip of the iceberg. Earlier this month, a Florida vet pleaded guilty to doing animal abuse crush videos.

“Are there more groups of people on the Internet doing the exact same thing? ” she said. “We just don’t know. What we do know is that platforms and law enforcement must act now. “

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