Instagram influencers slammed for ‘bad taste’ selfies at Chernobyl disaster site

A number of social media influencers are being criticised for being insensitive by taking photos at Chernobyl.

The city of Chernobyl was home to a catastrophic nuclear event while under Soviet Union rule in 1986 which led to its evacuation. The number of deaths the radiation caused is still debated, with estimates ranging from 4,000 to 93,000.

Chernobyl is currently uninhabitable but can still be visited.

HBO recently aired a series about the disaster, which has seen a jump in tourism by 30-40 per cent since May, The Guardian reported.

A woman strips at Chernobyl. Source: Instagram/ nz.nik

However, the spike in visitors has also seen an increase in social media posts from inside the city.

Instagram user NZ.Nik posted a photo of herself topless, wearing what appears to be a Hazmat suit draped around her legs.

“Are you f***ing kidding me with this?” one man wrote.

Others said the photo was “in bad taste” and “disrespectful”.

“Where’s your compassion to the suffering and pain people went through?” one woman wrote.

Twitter user Lettipop shared a number of other examples of people taking photos in Chernobyl and sharing them on Instagram.

A man uploaded an image on Instagram of himself playing in a dodgem car. Instagram/ sethcscotty

In one, a woman appears to feign shock whole looking at a nuclear warning sign although this photo appears to have been deleted.

Others included pictures in front of a ferris wheel and a burned out bus.

One man posted a picture of himself playing in dodgem cars with the hashtag “sendnukesnotnudes”.

Some of the posts have been labelled 'in bad taste'. Source: Instagram/ Krystyna Bubniuk and Ben Goldsborough

The pictures have led to Chernobyl show creator Craig Mazin to call for people to show more respect.

“It’s wonderful that #ChernobylHBO has inspired a wave of tourism to the Zone of Exclusion,” he tweeted.

“But yes, I’ve seen the photos going around.

“If you visit, please remember that a terrible tragedy occurred there. Comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed.”

Social media expert Ryan Shelley, from Pepper IT, told Yahoo News Australia anyone who takes a photo and shares it on social media needs to “take a moment and consider the gravity of the location” and “to be respectful”.

“In this case it’s probably a case of the younger demographic not understanding the significance of Chernobyl,” he said.

“They’re only thinking about the gratification of an Instagram like.”

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