Instagrammers Face Backlash After Posting Offensive Pictures at Chernobyl

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As you’ve all probably heard by now, HBO’s TV series, Chernobyl, has gained immense popularity since it’s debut in early May. The miniseries tells the true story of the worst nuclear disaster in history, which took place in Chernobyl, Ukraine. The show has gained an impressive ninety-eight percent positive feedback rate, so if you haven’t watched it already, I’d highly recommend adding it to your list.

But in order to enjoy good things, we must also put up with the bad. A new trend has been ignited wherein Instagram influences have gone to visit the disaster site and have taken some pretty offensive pictures to post on their socials. Maybe posing in your underwear wasn’t the best choice, not even for the ‘gram… a**hole.

Let me take you back to 1986, when the biggest nuclear disaster in the world took place. The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded due to suspected design flaws in the reactor.

While the initial blast is said to have killed around forty to fifty people, the number of people with long-term health effects ranged from approximately four thousand to ninety thousand (according to stats provided by the United Nations). And they still pose a concern to this day.

For years after the disaster originally happened, the population was subjected to both long, and short, term illnesses such as acute radiation syndrome (ARS) and cancer. I have to warn you, the following image is not for the faint-hearted.

Some of the episodes contain extremely graphic images that show the extent of people’s injuries as a consequence of the nuclear radiation that was left behind for years to come. It’s pretty gruesome, to say the least. I’ve included the trailer for the episode below so you can see for yourself.

According to The Guardian, Chernobyl saw a thirty to forty percent increase in people visiting the disaster site. Most of these tourists were Instagram “influencers.”

I’m all for posting cool and aesthetic content on Instagram, but these people have taken it way too far for a couple of likes. I’m telling you now, it wasn’t worth it.

This tweet was posted by the writer of Chernobyl who also noticed this distasteful trend.

He expressed how the tourism effect of the series is “wonderful,” but that the site is more than just a selfie spot. He reminded his followers to be “respectful” and to remember the victims of the nuclear disaster.

Doesn’t it go without saying? A location in which there were many casualties would automatically require one to be respectful, but some “influencers” didn’t seem to get that memo.

Whether the Instagrammers were smiling, posing, or even sporting a thong, the internet was absolutely outraged.

Let’s start with the slightly tamer shots…

This is @mnordstjerne on Instagram, who posted this picture of him from the back “rooftop exploring.” At least he’s got clothes on as opposed to some people…

Ben Goldsborough (@ben_goldsborough) has been labeled disrespectful. This Ferris wheel was supposed to provide the people of the town with some fun and entertainment before the nuclear disaster which meant that everyone had to evacuate.

His caption read: “Chernobyl, Kiev, Brussel, Hong Kong, Marrakech, and the Taj Mahal… The worlds gayest pose is officially on tour! #StillStraightThough.” I’m not even going to start on the problematic nature of the whole caption because I’ll be here all day. One user (@perquisitore) was extremely annoyed and commented on the photographer’s picture, urging him not to “reproduce.” Goldsborough didn’t take well to the comment, lashing out in a reply in which he threw personal insults back at the user.

This user (@mayuyudayo) has her arm out as if she’s holding one of the carriages. I mean, it would be a cute idea if she was at a funfair, but unfortunately, she wasn’t. A very bad move.

Despite the Foreign and Commonwealth Office warning that radioactive isotopes are still active at the site, some people are willing to risk it all for the ‘gram. How does one even think to take pictures like this? I really do understand why people are so outraged with @nz.nik.

This Instagrammer didn’t just upload one picture, she uploaded two totally inappropriate shots of her basically naked, standing at the disaster site. They garnered some negative comments over the past couple of hours and rightfully so.

@Jakubm_3d left this comment: “I am just waiting for a dislike button and report option for influencers. Also, these “celebrities” should be sent to a working camp to try regular work. Lul, the world would be so nice then.” This is one of the biggest problems as it almost seems as if influencers value the state of their content over being respectful human beings and we’re really not here for it.

The 30th anniversary of the disaster was commemorated in April this year. The explosion claimed the lives of so many people and it continues to affect Ukraine and it’s neighboring countries today.

Auschwitz is known for being the location in which over a million Jewish people were murdered by Nazis. However, people seem to forget this all-important fact when they visit the camp in Poland and, instead, use it as some sort of artistic backdrop to take pictures.

Reducing significant historic disasters down to a selfie opportunity is a dangerous and ignorant thing to do. I can only hope that these “influencers” start to re-think what they’re doing and delete the pictures from their social media platforms. Nevertheless, the release of Chernobyl has made others aware of the impact of nuclear operations and has also been praised for not glamorizing the event as some TV programs and movie tend to do with disasters like this one.

Here’s the trailer for the immensely popular Chernobyl.

The miniseries is available to watch on Sky Atlantic.