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.
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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.