An open model has claimed that Instagram closed her account after she decided to sell nude photos of her to benefit the relief of wildfires in Australia.
Frustrated by the lack of media coverage of Australian fires, influential Los Angeles-based Kaylen Ward said she was recently inspired to take action.
"I am sending nudes to each person who donates at least $ 10 to any of these fundraisers for wildfires in Australia. Every $ 10 you donate = a nude photo of me to your DM [direct messages.] You must send me a confirmation that you donated, ”the 20-year-old said to her 205,000 followers on Twitter on Friday.
Ward's offer quickly went viral, with its initial announcement since it received more than 70,000 shares and thousands of comments.
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"I was seeing all the posts on Twitter about the fires in Australia and I was really worried because there was not much media coverage and there were not many people donating," he told BuzzFeed News.
Ward, who is known as the "naked philanthropist" on social media, "already" sold nude photos online, and was excited to do it for charity.
"I was hoping to raise maybe $ 1,000 but the tweet exploded," Ward said, claiming the campaign had raised more than $ 500,000 by Sunday. The funds are said to benefit organizations such as the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, the Victoria Country Fire Service, the Australian Red Cross, Rotary Australia and the Salvation Army, reports The Sun.
Despite his benevolent intentions, Ward claims that Instagram closed his personal account on Saturday, preventing him from spreading the news of the campaign with his 50,000 followers. The influencer posted an informed screenshot of the application on Twitter, explaining that his account had been deactivated due to "sexually suggestive content."
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Although he says he didn't break any rules, Ward said Instagram representatives have not yet answered his questions about the matter, according to BuzzFeed.
Feeling exasperated, Ward has claimed that Instagram is "targeting" her and asked Twitter followers to help her denounce the "fake" accounts that have emerged since then, and others pretend to be her.
In the future, the model remains focused on raising money for Australian forest fires, even revealing that it has hired help to answer the thousands of messages that its nude photo slideshow has received.
"This sounds ridiculous, but I have people I have hired to help classify the DM. I'm also sending the photos I promised, one for every $ 10," he said, according to the Sun. "Someone sent me $ 5,000, so I'm sending 50 photos and videos."
Ward is especially passionate about raising funds and raising awareness about Australia's wildfires, as his own family had to flee Carr's devastating wildfire in California in the summer of 2018. Forced to wait for a houseboat fire for several days, his family's house survived the fire – although many of his neighbors' residences did not, BuzzFeed reports.
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"I could see firsthand how many people were affected," Ward recalled.
Now, the model is delighted that its fundraising effort has been so successful.
"I can't believe we raised more than half a million dollars," he tweeted on Sunday.
An Instagram spokesman was not immediately available to offer further comments on Ward's accusations.
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According to reports, forest fires that ravage parts of Australia are burned through vegetation in such extreme conditions that the flames generate enough heat to create their own weather systems, including thunderstorms and tornadoes of fire.
Thousands of firefighters continue to fight the flames that have burned millions of acres in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, an area twice as large as Maryland.
As of January 5, in New South Wales, the rural fire service said there were 150 active fires in the state, 64 of them uncontrolled.
"It's not something we've experienced before," said New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian.
Travis Fedschun of Fox News and Associated Press contributed to this report.