Social Media and Catching National Park Vandals

This past year I have upped my social media presence and tried to become a bit more “social media savy”.  Besides making an effort to become more active on Twitter, I also created an Instagram account. Honestly, the inspiration for starting to use Instagram was that I feared my constant posting of cat photos on Facebook was going to cause me to lose some friends. But on Instagram, the more cat photos the better, right?

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) this post will not contain any cat photos, but it will contain links to Instagram photos of illegal activity occurring in national parks . On Friday night, while taking a break from work – because grad students trying to defend soon work on Friday nights – I noticed an interesting post on Twitter from Modern Hiker that linked to Instagram.

Is @baronandre tagging inside @joshuatreenps? #Repost @baronandre with @repostapp.
・・・
#mrA rock !

A post shared by Modern Hiker (@modernhiker) on

 

That image was found on the Instagram account of Andre Saravia (AKA Mr. Andre) a french graffiti artist and appeared to show a graffiti tag in a location that looks suspiciously like it was taken in Joshua Tree National Park. Mr. Andre stated that the photo was taken in a friends backyard (private property). However Modern Hiker, with the help of other social media users, did a great job “sleuthing” and found that the tagging indeed occured within the boundaries of Joshua Tree National Park.  Joshua Tree’s Chief Ranger received various calls about the graffiti and the park is beginning to investigate.

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