Someone Is Setting the Cars of This 'Rich Kid of Instagram' on Fire

Someone Is Setting the Cars of This 'Rich Kid of Instagram' on Fire

The news: One member of the "Rich Kids of Instagram" crew learned the hard way that posting pictures of your luxury car collection doesn’t always end well.

Aleem Iqbal, who goes by the username "Lord Aleem," saw four of his cars, worth more than $850,000, destroyed by a pack of arsonists in the span of one week. He's known across the Internet for his wildly exotic collection, and in the past month alone, he's posted pictures of a Rolls-Royce Ghost, a Ferrari Spider and a Lamborghini Aventador.


Image Credit: Instagram


Image Credit: Instagram


Image Credit: Instagram 

Iqbal, who works for his father's U.K.-based luxury car rental firm, told the Telegraph, "I do believe it could be a vile act of jealousy towards my business, or it could just be mindless vandals on an arson spree." Missing from this analysis, however, is the possibility that his own social media presence played a part.

The background: "Rich Kids of Instagram," which started in 2012, has gathered a following on Tumblr, as well as on the photo-sharing app Instagram itself. The posts regularly get hundreds of likes and shares, and the site even has a book coming out in July. There's also a reality show inspired by the blog.

The entries are littered with symbols of astronomical wealth: $100,000 watches, million-dollar yachts and empty Cristal champagne bottles, to name a few. Iqbal's pictures of luxury cars may seem unbelievable, but his exploits aren't that uncommon amongst the #RKOI.

Was Iqbal in the wrong? Some are shaking their heads at what Iqbal decided to make public. RKOI a_george_life told VICE that Iqbal "shared his address on Instagram, which was a mistake." Likewise, others believe that oversharing online can be a big mistake. "We must never forget that the Internet is real life, and some people pay the price for it," one RKOI, "Luke," added.

While Iqual's outward displays of exorbitance are flashy and attention-grabbing, they are deeply telling of a larger trend: 18 to 29-year-olds are sharing more information about themselves online than any other age group.


Image Credit: Pew 

Unsurprisingly, they're also more likely to encounter security issues:  


Image Credit: Pew 

But paradoxically, they're also more likely to take measures to protect themselves, rather than simply putting less information online:


Image Credit: Pew 

According to the EMC Privacy Index, which examines perceptions of privacy across the globe, only 51% of respondents have confidence in social networking organizations to safeguard their privacy. Yet they keep sharing: 68% of respondents place social networking in their top five online activities.

The takeaway: No one can say for certain whether Iqbal's whips were trashed due to his Instagram habit. It may well have happened over a business deal gone bad, or because a group of vandals saw the perfect moment to strike.

On the other hand, just look at his Instagram feed. It's a brazen display of wealth coupled with bits and pieces of personal information. It's ripe for the picking for anyone who wants it. Iqbal's experience contains one lesson for everybody — be careful what you put online — but also a lesson for the mega-wealthy: The price to pay for flaunting Ferraris and Lamborghinis can be very real, and the rest of society might not take kindly to such displays.

As for any blowback, a representative for his father's company told the Telegraph, "Justice will be done." Perhaps this will also mean tapering off Iqbal's social media presence.  

Image Credit: Instagram

Then again, maybe not.