Someone started an Instagram account with the handle @hotmigrants last week, and it’s exactly what it sounds like.
The account’s creator takes screenshots of attractive male refugees and migrants from the news, and posts them to Instagram with captions like “Looking flawless in Lesbos? ✔ ✔ ✔” and “Waiting handsomely for a better life.”
The account has some 800 followers, so at least a few Instagram users appreciate the pictures. But others have been quick to point out that the account can seem exploitative and insensitive in the context of the ongoing migrant crisis, spurred by war and hardship around the world.
“HOW IS THIS FUNNY. DELETE.” a commenter wrote on one picture.
“This whole account is a fucking mess – deliberate objectification and harmfully reductive commentary on people who’s lives hang in the balance.” wrote another.
The creator of the account, who claims to be a 20-something living in Washington, DC, defended the account to New York Magazine, writing: ”There is something to be said about finding comedy in such a tragedy. It helps to cope with the situation.” Quartz has reached out to the account owner and will update with any comment.
Whose “situation” the creator is referring to here is unclear, but it’s hard to see this helping any actual migrants or refugees.