Maybe think twice before posting.
Several Instagram influencers are getting criticized online for posting content fans deem inappropriate during the global coronavirus pandemic, which had sickened more than 343,000 and caused 14,790 deaths worldwide as of Monday morning.
Instagram model and one-time reality television star Skye Wheatley was among those to get slammed for posting an “insensitive” photo posing with her 1-year-old son on an empty grocery shelf. The shelf was reportedly where toilet paper would have been stocked if the store had not been sold out.
“I wanted to take some photos in the empty toilet paper isle [sic] so I can show Forest when he's older how far the world has come,” the caption reportedly read when it was posted Sunday. “I believe in us we can fight this COVID-19 together. Positive vibes and sending all my love to everyone?!”
She quickly received backlash for the photo, which was attached to a giveaway she was running.
“I’ve always really liked your content, but this just seems really tacky to me. Sorry,” one person wrote.
“I have loved following you and your beautiful family but I’m so sad to say I can no longer,” another person commented. Competition aside, the photo is just completely unnecessary and hurtful.”
“When I see these empty shelves it breaks my heart to think of a world that once was, one that will return but one that will now be a very uncertain place for our children to grow up in,” the commenter continued.
“Spreading positivity would look like volunteering, supporting small businesses or sharing an uplifting quote... not using a sensitive setting from a current world pandemic to attract attention for a giveaway,” another person wrote.
“This is so insensitive[.] Really?” someone else criticized.
Even though Wheatley also had a lot of people defending her post, she updated her caption after the disapproving comments, asking people to “be kind to one another, please send love not hate, please focus on the positives and be aware of the negatives but shift your energy to the light not the darkness.”
“If this post doesn’t sit well with you please don’t focus and scroll past, fill your soul with things that will make you happy during this time not angry,” the new caption read, along with rules to enter the giveaway.
Wheatley is not the only influencer on Instagram getting called out for photos that seem to make light of the current COVID-19 crisis.
Russian fitness model and hockey player Yulia Ushakova posted a photo of herself on Saturday posing in a “bikini,” which uses two face masks to create the makeshift bra.
“I ordered a new trend of the swimming season 2020 on Ali Express,” the caption began, according to Google Translate. “Built-in valves make breathing easier, but you have to change it every two hours…”
The picture received more than 9,000 likes, but those on social media widely panned the stunt, calling it “the worst joke,” according to The Sun. The outlet further reported that Ushakova allegedly deleted the negative comments from the post.
“There is a global lack of masks. This is the worst joke I have seen during these horrible days,” one Instagrammer wrote.
“Totally stupid and disrespectful to all doctors and all those who are suffering. Unfollow right away. Enough,” another commented.
“In the moment when those masks can save a life, this is not the best kind of joke you can do,” a follower wrote.
The social media trend of influencers treating the outbreak with humor is not new. Last week, Ava Louise went viral for participating in a “coronavirus challenge,” which involved her allegedly licking a toilet seat on an airplane.
The 22-year-old was attacked online as being “stupid.” Meghan McCain even weighed in, tweeting that the woman should be put “in jail” for the stunt.