The surveillance state is here and it might be you. At least that’s the thought pattern that one Instagrammer might be having after he captured some pictures of himself doing things on protected lands that he shouldn’t have been and then got fined by the park service after they saw his pictures.
So, this story combines all of our favorite things: Karma, social media, and irresponsible photography – what a trifecta!
It gets better though. This guy wasn’t just traipsing around some part of a park he wasn’t supposed to be around but rather was driving his car, which he got stuck, on a geothermal spring in Iceland. Alexander Tikhomirov, who FStoppers describes as both a “photographer and influencer” got his Toyota Landcruiser stuck in the mud in a sensitive part of Mývatn’s geothermal regions. Further, FStoppers reports that offroading in general, aside from some areas, is illegal in Iceland and carries a fine of thousands of dollars. Naturally, Tikhomirov took all of this as an opportunity to ham it up for the cameras – a move widely condemned by the denizens of the Internet.
The Facebook post from the authorities regarding this matter reads, “[Off-road driving] can do extensive damage to the country’s fragile topsoil, and the cost and labor of repairing the damage almost invariably fall upon the locals. Despite an extensive information campaign warning tourists to stay on marked roads, it continues to be a widespread problem in Iceland.”
As for what Tikhomirov has to say about all of this well he did explain himself on Instagram though pleaded his case as being one of ignorance of the law rather than maliciousness. He says that no one told him that off-roading was illegal and recounts how much money he has had to spend to rectify everything.
Of course, that brings up the interesting aspect about life where people often don’t intentionally act in a malicious manner and that ignorance of the law is, unfortunately, not a protection from the law. Par for the course for these things, he is also being threatened by random people on the Internet for his actions. Perhaps he can take all of this as an opportunity for influencing people to be responsible citizens.