An Instagram influencer has hit back after she was slammed online for sharing photos of herself across Australia while parts of the country were continuing to burn.
Deni Kirkova, who lives in Melbourne after moving here from Bulgaria, recently shared a series of photos from her travels around Australia, including trips to Sydney and the Yarra Valley.
The photos, which feature smokey skies, attracted damning comments from trolls who suggested she shouldn’t be sharing such content while the country is in the midst of one of its worst bushfire crises.
“Seeing as large amounts of Australia is ON FIRE I’d think about whatever you’re doing,” one person remarked as she shared a series of photos of herself at a Yarra Valley winery on Twitter.
The blogger, who has 25,000 followers on Instagram, also received comments on her account calling her “self-absorbed” and telling her to “get a life”, News Corp reported.
“I recently got a few criticisms on Twitter over a photo of me out at a vineyard in the Yarra Valley, suggesting it was smug and insensitive as the country is on fire,” she explained in a post accompanied by a photo of herself at the beach.
“Had to block some comments which were pretty abusive.”
Yet Ms Kirkova defended her online content, saying in a post such publicity was vital for bushfire-affected areas to prosper once again.
“The economy is already suffering, and what people really don’t need is to struggle financially after seeing their neighbourhoods burn down,” she wrote.
She urged people to venture out into fire-affected areas and spend money,
“See the beauty of this country and spend money on local businesses,” she said, promoting the Empty Esky campaign.
She said in another post the devastation the bushfires have caused left her “heartbroken”.
Others flocked to her social accounts to defend her photos, thanking her for the publicity.
“Thank you for using your platform to raise awareness,” one person said.
Her content comes after the #bushfires hashtag was used by a number of Instagram users who appeared to be using it for completely unrelated content such as selfies and model shots.
Social media expert Ryan Shelley, founder and managing director of Pepper IT, told Yahoo News Australia last month such behaviour from Instagrammers wouldn’t be tolerated by Australians.
“Whether local or overseas, Australians are, by nature, compassionate,” he said.
“We take on another’s loss or hardship in varying ways, and certainly have less tolerance for those who don’t display compassion and empathy in circumstances like this.”
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