According to a recent story from Racked, outdoor Instagrammers are doing a great job of raising awareness on environmental issues, but they’re also wreaking havoc by geotagging places that can’t handle the foot traffic.
It seems to be a delicate dance. On one hand, influencers are using their platforms to fight the current administration’s anti-environment agenda. As one influencer said, “the more people that know about these places and go to these places, the easier it can be to protect them,” which is a theory that certainly holds water.
And those same influencers also tend to do a great job of dragging the individuals — like noted swamp-people Ryan Zinke and Utah Sen. Mike Lee — that are behind the environmentally reckless policies.
On the other hand, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, as well as other conservation groups, advise against the habit of geotagging “specific destinations” that lack that “infrastructure to handle a lot of new visitors.”
Those groups say that geotags lead to an influx of visitors, which could ultimately destroy the ecologically fragile places. An assertion that also holds water, given humans’ track record for destroying pretty much every good thing ever.
While the solution – stop geotagging – seems like a simple one, influencers are paid by brands like Columbia Sportswear to share — in hyper-specific detail — where they’re wearing the gear and how well that gear is working. And losing the tags could mean losing $$$.
What a very 2018 dilemma.
You can read more about it at Racked.