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TikTok is a social media platform that can turn you into a star and earn you bundles of cash. The only catch is you have leveraged the video-sharing app with content that must spread like wildfire among its swelling subscriber base. Unfortunately, three TikTokers took that a tad too literally and on separate occasions, set parts of the Margalla Hills on fire.
Now, at least one person is in custody while environment officials are seeking to register a case against the content creators.
Three TikTokers from Islamabad and Abbottabad who wanted to set alight their following on the popular video-sharing platform decided to do something different.
In one video, the content creators decided that walking in front of a fiery background would do the trick, and proceeded into the forests on the nearby Margalla Hills. But instead of using computer-generated special effects, they decided it would be easier to create a real fire for their TikTok video to go viral.
The video shows popular TikToker and model, Dolly, walking down the hill in a gown with some bushes ablaze in the background. The TikTokers chose to use chart-busting Coke Studio song Pasoori, sung by Ali Sethi and newcomer Shae Gill, in the background for this video.
While the video could not be independently verified by SAMAA Digital, a screenshot being shared on social media shows that Dolly had posted it on her Instagram account two days ago but later took it down.
In the second video, two unidentified young men are seen setting some bushes on fire in the forest.
Meanwhile, the environment department of the Capital Division Authority in Islamabad has filed an application with the Kohsar Police Station, seeking an investigation against Islamabad-based TikToker, Dolly, under the Environment Protection Act 1997.
Sharing the video of the female TikToker on Twitter, Islamabad Wildlife Management Board Chairperson Rina Khan condemned the acts.
“This is a disturbing and disastrous trend on TikTok,” she said. “Young people desperate for followers are setting fire to our forests during this hot and dry season.”
She called on the authorities to arrest those involved in the videos and those who had set forests on fire immediately. She further expressed the desire for stronger punishments for those starting wildfires, pointing to Australia where people found guilty of deliberately starting wildfires are sentenced to life. The government of New South Wales in Australia has set a law that lists the maximum punishment for starting a bushfire as 21 years in prison.
TikToker detained from Abbottabad
Taking the action on the viral videos, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police have detained a TikToker from Abbottabad while they are on the lookout for his associate who is believed to be on the run.
Police officials further said that the case has now been handed over to Federal Investigation Agency for further action given that it involves a social media platform.