Officials in the Spanish city of Valencia have warned of the risk of “disaster tourism” as many risk their lives to gain more followers on social media.
The “instinct” to search for disasters on social media puts many lives at risk and hampers the operations of emergency services in danger areas.
Due to the irresponsible behavior of citizens, the Spanish National Civil Defense has decided to apply economic sanctions to those who endanger citizens and the emergency services that are supposed to help them. The Spanish newspaper “NIUSS” writes that fines ranging from 1500 to 30000 euros can be imposed for these violations.
Authorities began urging people to be cautious after a series of potentially life-threatening incidents, and were forced to issue additional risk warnings to anyone trying to access restricted areas. The most controversial case occurred when tourists took an excursion to La Palma’s volcano, where several groups got together to take photos amid the lava and ash.
The use of images of disasters on social networks to gain followers is increasing exponentially.
An example of this is a young Portuguese woman who, on August 3, posted a video on the social network TikTok where she danced in front of a fire. Hours later, he also filmed a neighbor watering the edges of his house to avoid the flames.
The user, who has around 250,000 followers, managed to make both the videos go viral on the social network despite the criticism.
The young woman soon deleted the videos.