Pakistan is a new travel destination which offers fantastic opportunities for adventurous western young ladies wanting to boost their audience. However, their ascent can be as fast as their fall. The travel blogger Alex Reynolds is an example on how irresponsible travel media people can ruin the livelihood of mountain families, despite the warm welcome and the kind hosting they enjoyed in their home.
Preliminary legal notice
All quotes are documented with screen captures from Alex Reynolds, Sebastiaan Rijntjes and Will Hatton posts. They come from their Facebook group ‘Backpacking Pakistan ». This group has 5147 members.
Use of the public pictures from Alex Reynolds, Sebastiaan Rijntjes and Will Hatton:
« In many countries, certain uses of copyright-protected works do not infringe the copyright owner’s rights. For example, in the United States, copyright rights are limited by the doctrine of « fair use, » under which certain uses of copyrighted material for, but not limited to, criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research may be considered fair. U.S. judges determine whether a fair use defense is valid according to four factors, which are listed here for educational purposes. In some other countries, there is a similar concept called « fair dealing » that may be applied differently.«
Alex Reynolds recently echoed a hate speech campaign launched, more than one year ago, by the radicalized Karachi woman, Ramla Akhtar, aka Rmala Aalam, living in Hussaini, Gojal. Without providing any evidence, using « argumentum ab auctoritate », Alex posted, to the attention of international travelers, defamatory allegations against a Chapursan family guesthouse on her blog, « Lost with purpose », and on the Facebook group « Backpacking Pakistan’ (5 147 members). The owner of this guesthouse is a disabled man, who, with his wife, raises four children and takes care of his, almost blind, old mother, in a harsh environment, at an altitude of 3,300 meters. Blog and Facebook defamation screen captures are available on request. They are not publicly posted, here, in order to avoid any new harm to the family, victim of these slandering statements.
The victim of the calumnies reported by Alex Reynolds did not have the possibility to answer. Moreover, the few people who politely questioned Alex’s allegations were abusively countered with sophisms such as false statements of « stalking » and « whataboutism », which are usual troll technics. Alex Reynolds invited people to leave the group if they disagreed with the way her unsupported attacks were managed.
Commentators asking for evidences or mentioning the defamation dimension of the post faced insults phrased with slang words from Sebastiaan Rijntjes, Alex’s travel partner. Sebastiaan also called contradictors, among whom were ladies: « rape apologists ».
Will Hatton (The Broke Backpacker – Adventure Travel Blog), Co-Admin with Alex of the Facebook group Backpacking Pakistan used the same rough language than Sebastian Rijntes. He focused on « shit » and « fuck » words saying he will « kick off » the people who contradicts him and will remove comments he does not like. Immediately after dumping his last insults, he eventually closed the post to any new comment.
Polite concerns and call for discernment from « Backpacking Pakistan » group members.
Tore Haaland was banned from Backpacking Pakistan group after his comments. As is the author of this article.
« Backpacking Pakistan » admin offensive answers to legitimate concerns:
Whataboutism – Stalking – You are welcome to leave – I say « fuck you » to you pricks – You Sick fucks – Fucking idiots – You’re dumb – Rapist apologists – They can all go and eat shit – I’m gonna to kick out anybody who pisses me off because I can.
The post was closed to any new comment when the article 11 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights was quoted. Then, the defamation will remain and will escape any new question about such a doubtful method.
Alex Reynolds seemed to be reliable when she reported her personal experience. However, this case shows that she also publishes « information » coming from second hand without having met or without having got direct contact with the person she pretends to advocate for. Promoting the « Law of Lynch », she, then, introduces severe doubts about the quality of her production.
As a consequence, Alex Reynolds crusade against travel media (see her video « Why travel media is dangerous for Pakistan’s tourism »), appears not to be as crystal clear as it could looked at first glance. It might suggest the existence of a conflict of interest and a background rivalry with other female travel media competitors.
Read how Ms Alex Reynolds made her defamation viral.
In her blog: « Lost with purpose », Alex Reynolds posted the same attacks against the targeted Chapursan family. It is, now, in the top search Google results. The prejudice is considerable and ruin one or more families.
The cybercriminal, Ramla Akhtar, confirmed on Twitter she was at the origin of the defamation rumor presented as a fact by Alex Reynolds in her « Chapursan Valley Travel Guide » posted on the blog « Lost With Purpose ».
ADDENDUM 1: how Alex Reynolds credibility becomes a Pakistani national issue?
We observed above that Ms Alex Reynolds can present unsupported allegations as facts, even if she just heard rumours or second hand information. In the following article, it is also explained that this young lady stated a distorted version of events she actually experienced. This is another issue with social media. Contributors, with numerous followers, think they can use the « argument of authority » freeing themselves of providing any evidence and allowing people like Sebastiaan Rijntjes and Will Hatton, her partners, to insult and stalk those who don’t share this « law of Lynch » .
See: TRAVEL VLOGGER ALEX REYNOLDS WHO MADE ‘THAT’ VIDEO ABOUT TOURISM IN PAKISTAN IS BEING CALLED OUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA! by Shaikh Mehmood on PARHLO.
The Express Tribune: « Pakistan Tourism Summit shares video of Alex Reynolds expressing views on Pakistan«
But followers have their speculations…
ADDENDUM 2: New answer from Alex Reynolds.
« Stalking » is, surprisingly, a request from Mrs. Alex Reynolds as shown at the bottom of each page of her blog. It is worth to mention it.
As observed, Ms Alex Reynolds answered to the first comment. Then after the second one, emphazing the illegal dimension of the defamation, she could have removed everything and block me. It was on one of her pages. Instead, she reported to Facebook. I don’t know if she hoped to get me banned doing so.
Here below is the private message, sent to her. Let’s hope she will become more responsible.