Bali’s erupting volcano has Instagram is blowing up with photos of tone-deaf travelers posing in front of it. These insensitive social media stars at Mount Agung, in the eastern swath of the popular Indonesian vacation destination, while it spews out plumes of gray smoke in the background.
Because of the volcano’s tremors, more than 100,000 locals have been forced to evacuate their homes and shut down the airport for three days, stranding some 60,000 fliers. The possibility of a complete eruption still looms. In the meantime, billowing lava, ash, sulfur, and carbon dioxide emissions pose a threat to air quality and agriculture, among other risks.
It appears that some callous people find a good photo opp.
I woke up today at 3:55 AM with the intention to drive towards Agung to see the volcanic eruption and ash cloud, and also I wanted to pet a puppy. I’ve done one of the two. It’s only 9 AM I’m still hopeful that I will find a puppy to love. Here’s a shot from Batur in the hot springs. You can see the ash cloud behind me from Mother Earth speaking to us. . . . #batur #eruption #volcano #agung #agungvolcano #agungeruption #yogapose #yogainspiration #yogaeverydamnday #yogalover #yogaforlife #adventureoften #adventuretravel #travel #ubudbali #yogabarn #bali #explorebali #travelgirls #exploremore #createmore #seetheworld #backpacker #travels #traveltime #adventurevisuals #adventuregirls #adventureanywhere #yogagirlsdaily #yogagirlsaretwisted
The most egregious example just might be of a woman wearing a bathing suit while she gazes over the edge of an infinity pool towards the active volcano.
According to an extensive search of Instagram photos tagged near Mount Agung, this particularly photogenic swimming pool vantage point doesn’t appear again. Even if this image is doctored in some way to maximize visual impact, the point is that social media user @MariBuhma apparently thinks it’s okay to turn a natural disaster into a sexy photo shoot opportunity.
Some Bali visitors posted photos of the volcano on its own and added messages of hope and prayer for the island.
The offensive ones commit one or more of the following crimes: jumping, using heavy filters, wearing giant smiles, flaunting bare skin in skimpy outfits, contorting in yoga asanas and exhibiting over-the-top PDA. It’s unacceptable for Instagrammers to insert themselves into the scene and strike a pose.
Also not cool: Throwing a thumbs-up, the middle finger or a cowabunga sign at the camera. Some posters even fling their arms out as if embracing the potentially devastating mountain.
Another particularly grating photo shows its subject toasting the eruption with a local Bintang beer. It’s captioned, “Cheers motha nature.”
This Instagrammer delicately holds up a coffee cup in the foreground, as if it’s just another morning and no lives are at stake.
The volcano emoji has never been so inappropriate.
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