Frustrated by a lack of media coverage of the Australian fires, Los Angeles-based influencer Kaylen Ward said she was recently inspired to take action.
“I’m sending nudes to every person who donates at least $10 to any one of these fundraisers for the wildfires in Australia. Every $10 you donate = one nude picture from me to your DM [direct messages.] You must send me confirmation that you donated,” the 20-year-old woman told her 205,000 Twitter followers on Friday.
Ward’s offer quickly went viral, with her initial announcement since receiving over 70,000 shares and thousands of comments.
"I was seeing all the posts on Twitter about the Australian fires and I was really concerned there wasn't a lot of media coverage and not a lot of people donating," she told BuzzFeed News.
Ward, who is known as the “Naked Philanthropist” on social media, was “already” selling nude photos online, and was excited to do so for charity.
"I was expecting to raise maybe $1,000 but the tweet blew up," Ward commented, claiming that campaign had raised over $500,000 by Sunday. The funds are said to benefit organizations including the NSW Rural Fire Service, Victorian Country Fire Service, the Australian Red Cross, Rotary Australia and the Salvation Army, The Sun reports.
Despite her benevolent intentions, Ward alleges that Instagram shut down her personal account on Saturday, effectively cutting her off from spreading news of the campaign with her 50,000 followers. The influencer posted a reported screenshot from the app to Twitter, explaining her account had been deactivated due to "sexually suggestive content.”
Though she claims she didn’t break any rules, Ward said that reps for Instagram have not yet responded to her inquiries regarding the matter, according to BuzzFeed.
Feeling exasperated, Ward has since claimed that Instagram is “targeting” her and asked Twitter followers to help her report the “fake” accounts that have since surfaced, with others pretending to be her.
Moving forward, the model remains focused on raising money for the Australian wildfires, even revealing she’s hired help to answer the thousands messages her nude photo pitch has received.
"This sounds ridiculous but I’ve got people I’ve hired to help sort through the DMs. I’m also actually sending the pics I promised, one for each $10,” she said, per the Sun. “Someone sent me $5,000, so I'm sending 50 pics and videos.”
Ward is especially passionate about raising funds and awareness for the Australian wildfires, as her own family had to flee the devastating Carr wildfire in California in summer 2018. Forced to wait out the blaze on a houseboat for several days, her family’s home survived the fire — though many of their neighbors' residences did not, BuzzFeed reports.
"I got to see firsthand how many people were affected," Ward recalled.
Now, the model is thrilled that her fundraising effort has been so successful.
“I CAN’T BELIEVE WE RAISED OVER HALF A MILLION DOLLARS,” she tweeted on Sunday.
A spokesperson for Instagram was not immediately available to offer further comment on Ward’s allegations.
The wildfires ravaging parts of Australia are reportedly burning through vegetation under such extreme conditions that the blazes are generating enough heat to create their own weather systems, including fire-generated thunderstorms and fire tornadoes.
Thousands of firefighters continue to fight the blazes that have burned millions of acres in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, an area twice the size of Maryland.
As of Jan. 5, in New South Wales, the rural fire service said there were 150 fires active in the state, 64 of them uncontrolled.
"It's not something we have experienced before," New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
Fox News’ Travis Fedschun and the Associated Press contributed to this report.