A hiker in the United States has caused an internet shitstorm of epic proportions after posting her “artwork” on Tumblr and Instagram.
Casey Nocket, a 21-year-old who used the name Creepytings, took a trip through several of the national parks of the Western United States.
But rather than just enjoying the incredible views she decided to paint on them, scribbling faces, her Instagram name and the date on the rocks around natural beauty spots.
“Rather than just enjoying the incredible views she decided to paint on them.”
She referred to the pictures, which were done in non-soluble acrylic paint, as “art”.
Unfortunately it seems not many people agreed with her definition of “art”. When a hiking blog picked up on her photos, people were quick to call her scribblings out as vandalism.
Unsurprisingly the assumption that anyone could “improve” beautiful natural views with man-made scribbles offended a lot of national park users. Not only that, but the paintings may also count as vandalism of public property, an offence that can carry a hefty fine.
The pictures caused a huge storm on Reddit, and the case has made it into the traditional press in the US, with the Denver Post reporting on Nocket’s misadventures.
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In the few days since, the original hiking blog has been flooded with traffic apparently crashing several times and the National Parks Service has put out a press release saying they are “investigating reports of vandalism in at least 10 national parks in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, and Utah.”
“The Parks Service are investigating reports of vandalism in at least 10 national parks.”
The Creepytings Instagram and Tumblr accounts have been taken off line but Ms Nocket’s penchant for self-publicity means that if the Parks Service do decide to prosecute they’ve got all the evidence they need.
In fairness to her, some of the online coverage has been unpleasantly vitriolic and over the top. Also, it’s not the first time that people have been stupid enough to trash national parks and then upload the evidence to social media.
Last year two Boy Scout troop leaders kicked up an even bigger shit storm when they posted a video of themselves destroying one of the rock formations in Utah’s Goblin Valley State Park.
But however nasty the trolls are (and someone seems to have started a fake Tumblr account under the name Creepytings just to bait them) it still seems Ms Nocket is in the wrong here, as the Modern Hiker blog points out.
We’ll be interested to see how the case pans out.