As wildfires have become rampant around the world amid severe climate change, sad visuals of fire engulfing people’s homes and killing animals have left all heartbroken. However, a Pakistani TikToker used the same forest fire for clout in a video even as trees burnt behind her. As the video went viral, netizens demanded stringent action against her.
A devastating heatwave has ignited many forest fires in different parts of the neighbor country in the last few weeks. Now, an influencer identified as Humaira Asghar thought it would be a good backdrop and turned it into a fashion shoot. Walking down a hillside in an elaborate embellished silver gown, Asghar posed for the camera as a blaze raged in the background.
And if that was insensitive enough, she shared the clip on her TikTok profile with 11 million followers saying: “Fire erupts wherever I am.”
The internet celebrity drew widespread backlash on social media. The video particularly gained wider attention outside TikTok, when wildlife officials used it to demand that the government bring legislation to protect the woods in the country.
This is a disturbing & disastrous trend on Tik Tok! Young people desperate 4 followers are setting fire to our forests during this hot & dry season! In Australia it is life imprisonment for those who start wildfires. We need to introduce similar legislation@WildlifeBoard pic.twitter.com/RGMXnbG9f1
— Rina S Khan Satti (@rinasaeed) May 17, 2022
Rina Saeed Khan Satti, an environmental activist and chairperson of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board, slammed the influencer on Twitter dubbing it a “disturbing & disastrous trend” where young people are not just posing but even setting fire in the woods.
“She should have been holding a bucket of water to extinguish the fire instead of glamorising it,” Satti told AFP. “The message these videos is sending is too risky and it needs to be contained,” Satti added.
These psychotic young people have to be caught and put behind bars immediately! If you have any information plz contact @WildlifeBoard https://t.co/CwXj7ytKtM
— Rina S Khan Satti (@rinasaeed) May 16, 2022
According to Geo TV, Recently there have been several instances of people setting forest on fires and sharing videos on TikTok. A few days ago, a video showed two young people starting a forest fire with a lighter at Margalla Hills, the report said.
In another viral video, a female TikToker set the woods on fire to add “dramatic effects” to her video. She burnt down dozens of trees to “create a dramatic effect for the viewers in the footage”. Earlier, another TikToker was arrested for setting a forest ablaze in Abbottabad, Geo TV added.
As the backlash grew, the video was taken down by Asghar, Dawn reported. Asghar, in a statement released by an assistant, said that she did not start the fire and there was “no harm in making videos”.
People on social media tagged police and urged legal actions must be taken against anyone promoting such stupid acts.
Utterly disgusting and alarming.
There must a strong punishment for everyone involved in this. #Pakistan @Mr_Shutterstock @MaizaHameedMNA @TalatHussain12 @KlasraRauf @Team_Twitter https://t.co/1aDvrIO675
— Aamir Ahmad Khan (@aamirahmadkhan) May 18, 2022
A) @TikTokSupport should BAN THESE PEOPLE.
B) Put these people in jail for destruction of public property, reverse endangerment, destruction of the natural capital of this country. They must not be spared!
C) Legislate! @ICT_Police @dcislamabad please find these people! https://t.co/6myepVbuH9
— Nuzhat. (@guldaar) May 17, 2022
@tiktok_us @TikTokSupport @TikTokComms block this accounts immediately bcs they are involved in serious damages to environment.acc to local law action hs bn takn, but this is against community rules https://t.co/brpIRPQUzB
— naveed shahzad (@naveedshahzad66) May 17, 2022
Arrest them!!!! Do we even have law and order. Dying here because of heatwave and they are just burning down forest for their own amusement. https://t.co/LxvthPCkeT
— Abdullah (@abdulllah_png) May 17, 2022
what kind of generation is this, what parents are teaching their kids, we are going towards total destruction, just for the sake of a 60 seconds clip look what they have done, forgetting that we are facing the worst temperature in 60 years@ICT_Police
— trailtrackpk (@waji33) May 17, 2022
If there is fire, you don’t go there wearing jhumkas and Baaliyans. You try to stop the fire with whatever way possible because wildlife lives there.
Where is humanity?
We’ve all been young once
— 4 bachon ki amma (@MrumSiddiqui) May 17, 2022
For their shittiest fame they killed thousands of life in the forest
— The_North_Pakistan🏕️ (@ObaidQureshi224) May 17, 2022
She should be charged for public property.
– Kya Bat ہ? (@Rizvibahiee) May 17, 2022
Law must be there in Pakistan but nobody cares if an influential person breaks it. In Australia laws differs state to state and in New South Wales it’s 10 year imprisonment for arson. 🔥
— Umair Bashir (@Psyenchologist) May 17, 2022
This is what we call lake of information about the serious problems. We people are living in the state of dilusion of happines that every thing is normal. I am who consider himself an educated peraon was unaware of the climate issues before 2021 then what to expect frm aam admi.
— Kabir Hussain (@baigkabiir) May 17, 2022
Just catch the girl and others like her via TikTok and make an example out of them. Their digital footprints are all over. Plus There won’t be a Next time if they are taken care of well
— Jeem Alif 🇵🇰 (@juneerulz) May 17, 2022
But I think laws already exist that prescribe punishment for arson as well as laws that ban destruction of flora and fauna.
— MOJ Malak אוסמה (@elCampeone) May 17, 2022
According to Dawn, in Pakistan, forest fires are common from mid-April till the end of July. They are caused by searing temperatures, lightning as well as slash-and-burn farming.
As many called for stricter social media rules, TikTok too released a statement. The video platform said that “any content that promotes dangerous or illegal behavior would be a violation of our community guidelines and is not allowed on our platform.” TikTok added, as per The News“We work to either remove, limit, or label content that depicts dangerous or illegal acts.”