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HBO ‘Chernobyl’ Creator Calls Out Influencers After These Pictures
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HBO ‘Chernobyl’ Creator Calls Out Influencers After These Pictures

It seems to be a natural human inclination to be fascinated by disaster and the suffering of our fellow humans – from the urge to gawp at the scene of a car crash to traveling purposefully into warzones, we seem to have a morbid need to see and experience the worst that can happen.

The creator of the ‘Chernobyl’ miniseries has a message for people who have started visiting the tragic site

Image credits: clmazin

Disaster tourism is most definitely a thing and the way it is perceived depends entirely on the motives and the behavior of the individual. People that choose to visit Auschwitz, for example, could go to pay their respects, learn about the true extent of human barbarism and come away deeply affected; using the knowledge and empathy gained from the experience to become a more caring person. Or, they could disrespect and disregard the gravity of the site, learning nothing while looking for photo opportunities to impress their Instagram followers with.

Some people were surprised by such location choices

Image credits: komacore

Because yes, influencers getting their perfect pic in Chernobyl is now a thing

Image credits: amanduhwhite

Image credits: juliabaessler

Image credits: nz.nik

Image credits: luisitocomunica Verified

Image credits: rami.mogyorosi

Image credits: arkadiuszwolek2

Image credits: irene_vivch

Image credits: gdelchev

Sadly, this story seems to lean toward the latter. On the back of the success of HBO’s Chernobyl, Instagram influencers have been flocking to Pripyat to pose for photos, giving little historical context about what actually occurred in the danger zone but pulling plenty of the usual vapid, cliched poses that we’ve come to expect from these people.

Image credits: kateryna_maslennikova

Image credits: lena_leontieva

Image credits: juliabaessler

Image credits: soloshenko_gregory

Image credits: juliabaessler

Image credits: nz.nik

Of course, Chernobyl disaster site is not Auschwitz; nearly all of Pripyat’s 50,000 residents were safely evacuated from the abandoned town, which is still heavily contaminated with high radiation and toxic waste from the nuclear plant accident in 1986. However, it is the site of a human tragedy that has affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. What possible excuse could you have for getting sexy in the site of a nuclear exposure?

This is the ugly side of disaster tourism. People cynically using a catastrophe to further their own ends, trying to give the impression of being ‘adventurous’ and ‘curious,’ but instead relegating a somber, meaningful place to just another background for endless selfies.

Sure, visit Pripyat. Read and learn about what occurred there, about the heroic people that sacrificed themselves trying to contain the accident and the realities of life under communism. Discuss the pros and cons of nuclear energy. Take pictures and share your experience with your friends! But don’t get your butt out. Your butt is irrelevant and disrespectful to the memory of the people that lost their lives there, OK?

 

Image credits: juliabaessler

To be fair, while there are some hideously thoughtless and tasteless pics here, some of them, like those showing the level of radiation exposure still at the site, could be considered informative.

What do you think? Is this kind of disaster tourism just plain wrong? Would you visit Pripyat to see what remains after the accident? Let us know your views in the comments below!

Image credits: mayuyudayo

Image credits: juliabaessler

Image credits: mnordstjerne

Here’s what people had to say about the antics of the ‘influencers’

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Iris Jans
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

We used to call these people disrespectful egocentric attention whores instead of "influencers".. I miss those times

Random Panda
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I wish I could upvote this more than once.

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Hans
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The same bunch of idiots who take smiling selfies in Auschwitz. The reason to visit places of man-made tragedy is to keep the memory alive. This is our debt to those who found premature death (or even were murdered) and suffered.

Daria B
Community Member
3 years ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I agree. And, of course, it's also a reminder to stop us from committing the same mistakes of history.

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Amber Jouer
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is everything wrong with people today. Rampant narcissism, and an utter lack of respect. People died. People died horrible, gruesome deaths. But gotta get them likes.

María Hermida
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think it's much worse than lack of respect. It's an absolute lack of EMPATHY, and that's really worrying. You can teach (or obligue) people to respect something, but you can't make them feel empathy. In my opinion, these people are "morally blind", and they can't even understand why people criticise their actions. It's a generation of entitled, selfish, self-centred psychopaths, totally incapable of seeing further than the tip of their nose.

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Tyler Duffy
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I don't understand why people follow "influencers". I don't give a f*** where you go, or what your ass looks like.

Maxim Chervyakov
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Because 80% of Earth population are dumb flock of sheep. They need to follow something because they don't have their own targets, opinions and principles.

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Ed Souza
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The fucked up part is these idiots had no clue what Chernobyl was until the show got popular. I know this because everyone I had a conversation with about Chernobyl, that are under the age of 25 never have a clue of what I'm talking about.

btaglln
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Maybe dumb people. I'm 23, has not watch the series and I know what happened in tchernobyl since I was a kid :)

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DP von Icecream
Community Member
3 years ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not sure IF it helps/works, but generally I report all these kind of photos as inappropriate and also officially block all these influencer-channels while HOPING the number of people who have blocked a certain account/channel eventually will have negative effect on the revenues "influ-me-me-me's" get from Youtube, Insta etc etc. Again, not sure if this helps, but it certainly gives me some slight satisfaction to at least done something about it :-)

Random Panda
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It would be awesome if more people did that.

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Shireen
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Good, they should all be named and shamed. One of the most catastrophic events in world history that killed thousands of people, Chernobyl lost a whole generation of people and they're going there to take selfies?! That's almost the equivalent of taking selfies at Auschwitz.

Emily Keryk
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Would they ever do this at the 9/11 memorial? I'm Ukrainian and I think these people are horse shit.

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Anna Datsyuk
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I live in Ukraine, in just about 300 km from Chernobyl. I never had a desire to go there, to touch it, to make photos. I know few men who were there, who sacrificed their health and did what should be done. It is too painful and too tragic for me even to visit the place, leave alone to make butt photos there. People are just shallow and have weird life goals

Monika Soffronow
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

WHY is Bored Panda giving these shallow attention seekers JUST THE EXACT THING THEY CRAVE??? Iris Jans, I'll borrow this: "disrespectful egocentric attention whores". ¡Nada mas!

Jane Alexander
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Monika Soffronow, To be publicly shamed is not what they crave, but it's what they're getting here.

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Claes Gustavsson
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Who are these people influencing? Are they supported by companies? Have they even seen the series?

Lulik
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

No, no, no, no JUST NO!!! Gosh, I hate those influencers! Such stupid deprived of empathy and completely non-thinking creatures - they always have to stick themselves everywhere just to show up without any respect for anything! I was always dreaming to visit Chernobyl because it's an important part of my history as a resident of central-eastern Europe. And when I just grow up enough and collect some money to go there, HBO creates a wonderful serial but totally ruined the peace of this place and now I'm not sure if I want to go there anymore. Because of influencers. Thxs.

Richard Wareham
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hopefully, this will be a self-correcting problem as the radiation bites. Let's get many more of these pathetic 'influencers' going for a Darwin award.

Ula Perekitko
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

To me place like this is like a massive graveyard. Many people died because of what happened there and it was enormously huge pain and agony. Thousands of citizens of Pripyat had to pack small bags, leave their homes and basically start their life over. Many of them had to leave their beloved pets and for me it's impossible to imagine how at least some of them felt at that moment. A dog or a cat can be seen as a member of a family - how can you just leave like this to die someone you love and care for? Showing naked butt or making this place a fancy photo scenery is totally disrespectful. People are disgusted when they see photos like this taken in Auschwitz and other concentration camps. To me these photos are the same.

Pittsburgh rare
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What's not to like? 😂😂 In fact, more influencers should go there. And touch EVERYTHING they see.

Starbelly Eleven
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Does it hurt her back to constantly stand with her butt jutting out or is her spine naturally misshapen like that?

Pretty Pangolin
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yes, I've been noticing this pose a lot - it's the butt equivalent of duck lips. Duck butt?

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Iain Wicks
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Influencers are in fact self absorbed cunts

Teodora L. Kostadinova
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This only shows that such kind of people won't stop at anything, just to gain popularity. Like, "fu*k devastated nature, fu*k dead people, I'm here for the likes/followers/whatever". It's distatefull, it's disrespectfull, it's pure douchebaggery. Especially those who posted semi-naked pictures. This place is a mass grave, you turds. What next, bikini photo shoot at the Auschwitz.

Karen Klinck
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Probably. Crawling among the shelves they slept on, trying to look sexy and merely succeeding in looking stupid!

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boredhuman
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's it. I don't wanna live on this planet anymore.

Dippin Dot
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I visited the Dachau concentration camp and it was a somber, eye-opening experience. Not once did I think "this would be a great place to have fun." I'm glad it was 20 years ago before selfies and Instagram. These people who get paid to "influence" need to use their platform to inform, not to show off how they get paid to do literally nothing but look good and use products they are paid to use to look that way. If this is the way the world is shifting, I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

Michał Jastrzębski
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

while the suits are overkill, they really should not sit/play in some of those places. Especially if you see a radiation hazard sign, it should say to your brain that its there for a reason - dont play in a hot/contaminated area. While you will not get ARS, you can end up with a seriously high chance of cancer later on in life.

Nikki Lee
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Unfortunately it appears that these 'Influencers' don't appear to have a brain among them to warn them of the dangers of being in a place like this. Completely disrespectful and narcissistic attitudes toward the heartbreaking history of Chernobyl.

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Wil Vanderheijden
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Think about it: Influencers can only exist because there are crazy people that follow these fools. Are you all still as confident that Tangerine Turd is going to lose 2020 elections?

Sivi
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Someone want to tell some of these people stripping down about radiation?

Michał Jastrzębski
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

stripping down is not a problem, actually. Gamma (i.e. actually highly penetrating) radiation levels are not that high in chernobyl. Touching potentially irradiated stuff IS, however a concern, especially if you touch your mouth/eyes later on before you wash/decon your hands properly - this is because alpha and beta emmiters, while non-penetrating against a skin (well, you can get beta burns if you meet a powerfull beta source), can be very harmfull if ingested/inhaled/go in contact with mucous membranes of your body. You DONT want that. And seeing that girl posing next to radiation hazard sign? Yeah, girl, stay away from that area. You dont know what type of contamination exactly is there. You dont know how intensive the source is. You dont know wheter its a solid/stabilised source, or a recently found microparticulate / dust source that you can inhale easily if wind blows your way. Chances are you will be good, and same chances are you could inhale a radioisotope.

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Monika Rhodes
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

HBO should do release something about North Korea- see those idiots running there to take some photos for likes :/

birdhouse
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What is wrong with these people? How many died at this site, and you're gonna stand there with your ass out for an Instagram picture!

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Pose luscious at the disaster site!"... What. The. Eff?!

Ed Souza
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Didn't that poop noodle Logan Paul pull a similar douchbagery in the suicide forest? It's disgusting that these people become wealthy for being terrible.

Karen Klinck
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yeah, and a lot of places promptly banned him for it, too. Nice, when karma bites so swiftly. He's still complaining about it, too.

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Kjorn
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

i hate the instagram generation

Paul K. Johnson
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Any of us could do this if we were willing to exchange our self-respect for internet likes, cash and fabulous (sponsored) prizes. What I don't understand is how vapid a person has to be to care about these people taking photos of themselves.

Layla
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is a site for grief & commemoration. Keep your ass / abs to yourself!

Ueda
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

How is it more shocking that so-called eco-conscious "influencers" destroying protected natural areas to get some likes/followers? BP seems to like those strangely enough...

Withnail
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Ugh, "InFlUeNcErS" What a time to be alive...

Lucas
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My screen reader can't cope with something you've written. What does it say? Thanks.

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Laura Bryan
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I hope they zap their reproductive organs with the ambient radiation so they don't procreate. They'd be doing the world a favor.

btaglln
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yeah maybe we should telle them to go for a month, there is so much thing to photograph in Tchernobyl. And maybe the influencer could bring back a souvenir and cuddle with it every night ?

Kenny Kulbiski
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yeah, take lots of deep breaths and rub those semi nude bodies over everything they can. I'll only be impressed if they start glowing in the dark.

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chi-wei shen
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

In a few years these people might visit the war zones in Syria to get a few tasteless pictures.

Michał Jastrzębski
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

well, indeed there's already a war zone / extreme tourism going on

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Amina Hays
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What on earth is an influencer?

Monika Rhodes
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

An idiot talking crap followed by idiots who buy it- more or less.

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Lindz Moore
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

To see a place like this, where death, suffering, cancer, deformities, and 20+ years of heartache has occurred and your thought is "I need a picture there of me half naked to post online", shows the awful direction society as a whole is headed. This massive lack of empathy and respect is scary and appalling.

Karen Klinck
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh,this is nothing new. People were posing with survivors of Dachau; it's that we now have this instantaneous and world-wide publication of such trash. Inolder times, only immediate friends were bothered to look at such things. (And before cameras, there were drawings. people have been tasteless for centuries--since Og found a cave, it's been recorded...)

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Dee Hunter
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Having both of my parents dying of cancer and hearing them blame Chernobyl for it, this article simply leaves me speechless. "Influencers" ... this is just sad.

Tricia Reed
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Truly filthy. That's all I can say

Rowlie
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I hope it at least puts the flu in the influencers

Michał Jastrzębski
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

flu, nope. Cancer, quite probable. Especially if that girl on a swing / in the pool didnt decontaminate her hands and touched her eyes/lips later, this can potentially prove unpleasant (i.e. alpha emmiter particulates transmission to mucous membranes / inside the body). Same with the Duga radar pics featuring radiation hotspot warning signage - its there for a reason. Depending on exact signage, you should not go beyond that point.

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Danielle Renee
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

i cant' even explain how much i hate the term 'influencer' and these people make me sick. get a real job.

Malice Evil
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I see the fact that "influencers" go there as a good thing. For all of them i highly recommend a 6 hour long Photo-shoot session with the "elephant's foot". That is the only way their followers will get the "glowing" pictures they deserve. Also dear "influencers" as a fashion trend...Chernobylite is the new diamond...please wear some if you visit Chernobyl...that is the best way to get the "exposure" you deserve :))))

Aurelia Grey
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I hope that this new group of influencers (really world, really?) all visit the USA. Go to Yellowstone Park and take/pose/organize/ selfies right in front of a Mama Grizzly Bear and her babies. I really do. It could be epic.....

Karen Klinck
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Better idea, use one of the babies as a teddy bear. I'm sure they'd get some GREAT shots that way. (Anything to reduce the number of 'influencers' around.)

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ADHORTATOR
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I can' t believe it... there is much less intelligent life on earth as I thought....

Jane Alexander
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

These people are so shallow as to be non-existent. Is that why they try to create themselves on film?

Sardonic Scribe
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

These "people" are all missing an empathy chip. Disgusting.

Lucy Browne
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I find it kind of ironic that Bored Panda have manufactured a click-baity article out of the tasteless photos of sad attention seekers, which then decries exactly the tasteless photos that it’s using as clickbait. Pot, kettle, much?

Jane Alexander
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

BP holds the mirror of public opinion up to them. The mirror will not show what they expected to see.

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Mae
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I hope these idiots get sick! I don't usually say that but they really deserve it! #exposure

Link
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Excuse me but what the actual hell? Why would you even consider taking pictures in a place full of radiation and disaster just for the likes? Are people so desperate for likes that they'll put themselves at risk?

Karen Klinck
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What risk? They can't rot their brains because they have none. And their bodies are so plastic and coated with makeup that *nothing* can get through!

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Caleb Paulson
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I would love to go there, but if I did end up taking any pictures, they would be mostly if not fully filled with respect. That's literally the only thing that's missing from these people's lives.

Minnie-me
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

wow, just WOW. No respect for the tragedy and the people affected by it. How in any way is this "influencing"? Hopefully, the radiation can "influence" these idiots to take a catastrophe such as this more seriously.

Hallie
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wtf is an influencer?! Who are these people?!

Taryn Wallace
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017