Instagram Influencer Fined After Bragging About Off-Roading on Protected Land in Iceland

Instagram Influencer Fined After Bragging About Off-Roading on Protected Land in Iceland

A photographer and influencer has been heavily fined by authorities after driving his car into a protected geothermal area of Iceland before getting the vehicle stuck. Following the incident, he uploaded photos of himself posing in front of the car to his Instagram page.

Alexander Tikhomirov took it upon himself to go off-roading within the protected area of Mývatn, which eventually saw his vehicle become stuck in soft soil, reports The Reykjavík Grapevine reports.

With over 320,000 followers, the post has currently garnered more than 11,600 likes and is accompanied by a significant number of negative comments: “If destroying nature and leaving marks that will deprive future visitors/generations of the beauty of a place is your idea of fun, then I am sorry for all humanrity” read one, while another called him out for “posing at the scene” after being fined.

Aside from certain designated trails, the act of off-roading is illegal in Iceland. Fines are in the region of thousands of dollars. Northeast Iceland police went on to confirm on social media that they towed Tikhomirov’s car out of the geothermal area and did indeed fine him. They also released photos showing the deep tracks left by Tikhomirov.

The Reykjavík Grapevine added:

[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.

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37 Comments

Robert Nurse's picture

Hahaha, it's also a bad look for Toyota!

Tony Tumminello's picture

Reset his follower count to zero. I'd love to see Instagram implement a punishment like that on top of it. An influencer's worst nightmare!

Logan Cressler's picture

Can we just get rid of instagram as a whole?

Tony Tumminello's picture

I'd argue that Instagram isn't necessarily the problem, it's that in its current form it encourages behavior like this without any policies that have any teeth to help combat these issues.

Rayann Elzein's picture

Instagram won't do anything about that. You can't even report accounts like that because there is no option. It's not sex. It's not violence. It's none of the reporting options that you can use. I tried reporting it as "violent" (well, violence against nature should count, right?) and Instagram was very quick informing me that this account is perfectly fine (when it takes them months to confirm when an account is indeed in breach).

Jeff McCollough's picture

I noticed that IG and Facebook have an AI system review reports. At least on FB I can leave a comment on their reply to me and that usually gets a real person involved and 90% of the time the post gets deleted when AI said it was fine.

Rayann Elzein's picture

Never ever had a real person from the IG platform to respond to any of my queries. Not even "why do I keep being targetted by bots/spam please make it stop".

JetCity Ninja's picture

this is why we can't have nice things.

Muse Chan should be another photographer fined. He destroyed the moss fields on one of his shoots and now it will take about two hundred years for the damage to be repaired. And he still is a Profoto ambassador.

Ignacio Balbuena's picture

I completly forgot that incident. But I thought he get fined, if not, bad for Profoto

Jeff McCollough's picture

Do you have a link to that story or video?

Deacon Blues's picture

Really? If that is true, Profoto need to think hard about their priorities.

He should have been sentenced to a couple of years in jail. Fines alone don't stop this sort of destructive stupidity. And his Instagram account should have been closed down and erased, with a complete ban on setting up another account in the future. People have to be educated that the environment is more important than a few likes on a social media site.

Michael Jin's picture

Forget jail. You have to pay to keep him alive while he's in jail. Bill him for the damage and garnish his wages until it is paid off in full with interest. And yes, Instagram should de-platform people like this.

Rayann Elzein's picture

Instagram doesn't give shit about any of this. You can post photos of baited wildlife, selfies with captured endangered species, or such photos destroying fragile land, but it's apparently not against Instagram's TOR...

Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

But beware of posting a nipple! Sick!

cameramanDop Shanghai Hong Kong's picture

the post has currently garnered more than 11,600 likes...
One coming from Fstoppers! Thanks fore encouraging him!

Rick Nash's picture

This reminds me of the Trump government shutdown this past January which left the US National Parks vulnerable to similar acts of wanton abuse by those who suddenly seemed to lose their sanity and decided it was within their rights to destroy features of the parks. It has nothing to do with Instagram and everything to do with low level individuals who destroy anything and everything. Lock them up!

Simon Patterson's picture

So how much was he fined?

He was fined 450.000 Icelandic Kronas, which is around $3.600.

Simon Patterson's picture

Thank you. It doesn't sound like much.

Rob Mitchell's picture

A previously unknown 'influencer' Cast into the public eye by being a bad boy. Resulting in getting his name and face on all the photography sites.
Looks like he's won.

Timothy Gasper's picture

Leave it to a few low-class morons to ruin it for others. And look who it is.....Russians. Yes, I did say that and don't care. My wife is Russian and my daughter and granddaughter still live there. All too typical of many Russian men. Not all as I know quite a few very nice gentlemen there, but I've seen way too much of this from them while in other countries. What a quality individual.

Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

It does not matter which nationality he has. Every country has it's idiots!

Timothy Gasper's picture

Yes of course. If they were from somewhere else then the 'every country has its' idiots' would apply. Last time I looked, Russia is part of 'every country'. As is the US. We also have a lot as well. It's not that they are this way in their own country, but when they're on vacation a lot of them are loud and want to make their presence known. I have plenty of examples but will refrain from description due to length of them. DON'T get me wrong....I have plenty of Russian friends. It's these few (or a lot) I am referring to.

Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

But it is the same for US people. If we Europeans would judge the US (for example) on it's tourists.... Yes, you are loud and not really respecting the culture. I know it better. You're not that loud in the US! ;) Even I am often embarrassed, when I see other Swiss people abroad.

The problem is that kind of people, that would do anything for likes or followers. Even destroying nature. In my opinion, it's a mix of ignorance, stupidity and egoism. We all have plenty of them...

Timothy Gasper's picture

Yes, I've already said that about Americans. They can be among the worst wherever they go. I've just far too many experiences with the others in other countries...and my wife is Russian. Of course I know a lot who are nice, decent people. I guess I've been around them too long and haven't had those kind of experiences with other people. Maybe I should just shut up and keep my thoughts to myself.

Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

> Maybe I should just shut up and keep my thoughts to myself.
No you don't have to. I'd only to point out, that those kind of idiots are all around the world with different nationalities. ;) ...and the worst nationality is Influencer!

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