Instagram is blowing up — with photos of tone-deaf travelers posing in front of Bali’s erupting volcano.
These insensitive social media stars mug for the camera as Mount Agung, in the eastern swath of the popular Indonesian vacation destination, spews out plumes of gray smoke in the background.
In reality, the volcano’s tremors have forced more than 100,000 locals 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, but in the meantime, billowing lava, ash, sulfur, and carbon dioxide emissions pose a threat to air quality and agriculture, among other risks.
Amid this gravity, it appears that all some callous people can do is find a good photo opp.
The most egregious example just might be of a woman wearing a barely-there bathing suit. She gazes over the edge of an infinity pool towards the active volcano.
This particularly photogenic swimming pool vantage point doesn’t appear again, according to an extensive search of Instagram photos tagged near Mount Agung. But 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.
True, some Bali visitors posted photos of the volcano on its own and added messages of hope and prayer for the island, which is palatable.
But it’s unacceptable for Instagrammers to insert themselves into the scene and strike a pose.
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.
Also bad: 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.”
Similarly, 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 — for explosive anger — has never been so inappropriate.