'Cringeworthy': Instagram influencers 'capitalising' on Sri Lanka bombings tragedy

A number of “cringeworthy” Instagram influencers are being criticised for the misuse of the #PrayforSriLanka hashtag.

The hashtag has been used more than 31,000 times on Instagram in the wake of Easter Sunday’s bombings which killed 310 people.

It’s being used to share photographs and messages of support following the tragedy.

But many influencers have been accused of misusing the hashtag and taking advantage of it trending.

Instagram model and singer SpasovMaks uses a selfie with the hashtag #PrayforSriLanka. Source: Instagram/spasovmaks

Sarah Schupfer, from Germany, has 55,000 followers and used the hashtag with a picture of herself walking on a Sri Lankan beach. However, she’s since removed it.

An Austrian couple who use the handle fabi.jojo, and have more than 21,500 followers, used the tag with a picture of themselves leaning in for a kiss.

Model and singer SpasovMaks shared a selfie with the hashtag after arriving in Sri Lanka.

Influencer Mekilaya, a plus-size model, used the tag in a selfie along with #bodypositive and #plussizelovers. She’s also chosen to remove the tag.

Others used the hashtag to show off travel photos.

One influencer posts a picture from Sri Lanka. Source: Instagram/ marthevdh

‘It’s unacceptable’

Social media expert Ryan Shelley, from Pepper IT, told Yahoo News Australia he found it “cringeworthy”.

“It really shows the shallowness of some people who are capitalising off such a tragic event,” Mr Shelley said.

“No paid social media influencer should be dipping their toes into this. It’s unacceptable.”

Other people seemed to agree with Mr Shelley’s thoughts.

The influencers have been dubbed 'cringeworthy'. Source: Instagram/sirene_vagabonde

Twitter user wheelwordsmith shared a number of examples adding, “got to make sure you’re trending”.

“Absolute joke,” one man tweeted.

“Hurts to see and thanks for highlighting these parasites.”

Another man added the pictures were “so gross”.

“These people are the worst,” another man tweeted.

Influencers have been slammed for misusing the hashtag. Instagram/ mekilaya and Sarah Schupfer

Mr Shelley added “taking advantage of trending hashtags is a strategy” many use and in some cases it can be valid.

“If you’re going to the grand final or something and want to show off your outfit that can be an effective way of doing it,” he said.

“But using a hashtag for a tragedy is just poor form.”

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