Covid-19: Local celebrities and influencers face backlash over travel photos


  • Technology
  • Thursday, 19 Mar 2020

Malaysian doctors have urged local celebrities and influencers to use their platform to share accurate information about Covid-19, and to refrain from posting travel photos particularly during the nationwide movement control order. — AFP

Some local celebrities who posted images of their recent travels on Instagram have faced criticism from users for their seemingly insensitive content amid rising Covid-19 fears.

Among them is actress Farah Nabilah, whose holiday photos in Maldives have garnered negative comments from social media users calling her "stubborn" and also accusing her of "bringing back Covid-19".

Farah then posted a photo featuring items like face masks and hand sanitisers, to show her 1.7 million followers that she is now self-isolating at home.

Actor-singer Alvin Chong has also received some criticism from users for his recent travel photos taken in the United States. Like Farah, he then attempted to appease netizens by sharing a photo of himself wearing a facemask and with a message urging his 1.1 million followers to stay home.

Then there's actress Nelydia Senrose, who is currently in Brazil based on her latest Instagram postings. Netizens have left comments accusing her of being "ignorant" and even urging her to come back to Malaysia for quarantine.

She has since turned off the comments section on the last photo she shared on March 16. Nelydia currently has 4.3 million followers on Instagram.

In an report by Digiday, US-based travel influencers said they are seeing less work opportunities due to Covid-19. Influencer Amy Sedar told the website that some companies are afraid of pushing out travel-related content now as it would be seen as "being tone deaf".

California-based doctor Georgine Nanos told Forbes that it's "incredibly irresponsible for anyone to act as if they are above coronavirus". She added that now is not the time to share content or information that may encourage others to ignore Covid-19 precautions by health officials.

"People who take a cavalier attitude put everyone at risk. There is so much anxiety out there, and social media can play a valuable role by putting out positive messages and accurate information," she said to Forbes.

Locally, doctors on social media have also urged local celebrities and influencers to use their platform to raise more awareness about Covid-19.

Dr Afiq Rahim shared a tweet saying anyone with huge followings on their platforms can do their part and help to curb the spread of Covid-19 while Dr Rafidah Abdullah has also asked more celebrities to come forward to provide information to the masses.

The Ministry of Health has also endorsed the message on its official Twitter account.

The rise in Covid-19 cases has prompted medical professionals and authorities to urge more people to practice social distancing. Some measures for social distancing include staying home, only going outside for essential items like food, avoiding any social gatherings and cancelling travel plans.

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Influencers , Local Celebrities , Travel

   

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