Boarded-Up Storefronts Are Not for Your Photo Opp

Illustration for article titled Boarded-Up Storefronts Are Not for Your Photo Opp
Image: via Getty

Just as people still seem intent on taking photos of themselves at disaster sites, so too are some individuals convinced this particular moment is good #influencer content. Consider, for instance, a woman in Santa Monica who asked a man boarding up his storefront if she could hold his drill for a photo, presumably one that made it look like she too was boarding up a storefront, which she was not.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT do this:


New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz identified the woman as one Fiona Moriarty-McLaughlin, a writer for the Washington Examiner, a conservative news site. CBSLA says Moriarty-McLaughlin has since disappeared from social media, probably to escape thousands of people calling her a fake, exploitative monster.

Now that Moriarty-McLaughlin’s in hiding, it’s hard to know if the photo was meant to portray fake activism—you can hear her half-heartedly yell, “Good job, guys! BLM!” as she drives off—or if she had even more sinister intentions, since Lorenz pointed out that her now-private bio reads that she’s a “conservative political commentator,” and we know what they’re up to right now.

Either way, it seems Moriarty-McLaughlin got fired:


Still, she’s not the only person using this moment for the photo. The New York Post pointed to a TikTok video showing a woman posing for a photo outside a T-Mobile store with smashed windows. That video was posted to the account @influencersnthewild, and has since gone viral. It’s less egregious than Moriarty-McLaughlin’s apparent fake altruism, but only by a margin, and though I suspect we’ll see a lot more of this in the coming days, I implore anyone tempted to refrain turning this moment into A Perfect Instagram Photo.


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and she’s so self-centered that she didn’t notice somebody filming her and worry about the optics of her a) faking it b) taking off her mask immediately after c) saying GOOD JOB! BLM! after faking it and d) jumping into a fucking Mercedes SUV while she says it. fucking idiot  

oh and e) touching her fucking face before she puts both hands on the drill, then handing it back.