TikToker Dolly, following backlash on social media plus a condemnation by TikTok itself on a video posted by her this week, has issued a clarification saying people were not aware of the "reality".
On Tuesday, Nosheen Saeed, popularly known as Dolly on her social platforms, posted a clip of herself on TikTok walking playfully in a silver ball gown with a burning hillside as the backdrop, captioned, “Fire erupts wherever I am.”
It was widely presumed that the video was shot in Islamabad's Margalla Hills.
Saeed, who has more than 11 million followers on TikTok, was accused of conjuring up the flames for views and lambasted for being ignorant of the impact of such a fire on the environment. Saeed had said in a clarification released by an assistant that she did not start the fire and there was “no harm in making videos”.
As the condemnation grew, she released another statement on Wednesday, saying that people were not "aware of the reality" and that she was not okay with the "fake" claim of her being the fire starter.
She also posted a BTS video to back up her statement, expressing disappointment in social media's role in tarnishing a "celebrity's reputation".
"Everyone watch my video that depicts the real picture and make it go as viral as you can," she asked her followers.
"I feel compelled to make this video because social media has disappointed me very much. Taking such a big step, making a video go viral without knowing the reality and creating an issue for a celebrity — social media does create problems for celebrities — I am really upset about this," she started.
"You guys should have talked to me first, investigated and found out what the reality is. After that if you had felt something wasn't adding up, then if you had taken this step, it would've been okay. The reality differs from this entirely, first of all it has been years that I have not gone to Kohsar National Park — you can conduct an investigation — I am making this claim with full surety.
"Secondly, I was on my way back from a makeup class in Haripur, [traveling via] motorway and that is where I witnessed this entire scenario for which I will upload a video with that man's account," she said.
The TikToker made a "humble request" to her followers to make this video go viral just as they did for the "fake" video.
"As you can clearly see in this video the billboard indicates the place which is [the] motorway and NOT National Park Kohsar. Listen to the person in this video carefully so that you know the reality," she captioned the video, adding that she expects justice.
In the video, Dolly can be seen in the same silver ball gown as the viral video with the fire ablaze in the background. She addressed the camera and said, "Guys look at this, we came here and the jungle is on fire, we asked him and this is what he said."
The man standing next to her says that it was him who set the fire because of the huge snakes that reside there. He said the snakes were endangering the lives of their kids so they were using the flames to curtail the reptiles.
While the location of the fire may be under dispute, what Saeed, who is a public figure, needs to realise is that regardless, it was a bad call to use the blaze as a background. She is not alone in her ignorance; earlier this month, the police arrested a man in Abbottabad for intentionally starting a forest fire as a background for a video.
Saeed denies that she started the fire but posing in front of it only sends out the message that natural disasters can be used as props for entertainment which is a strong no.
Forest fires are already raging this summer and it would do better for influencers to educate the masses about the adverse effects and use their platform to kindle the flame of awareness.