LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – Graffiti is normally a problem seen on buildings and trains, but it has now made its way into state parks.
“Social media graffiti” is popping up in places like Pinnacle Mountain, where people are writing their social media usernames into rocks and trees.
"It's very illegal. It's defacing state property. It is taking away the experience our visitors have here,” Park Ranger Cale Davenport said.
Davenport said kids are publicly writing their names to gain followers on their accounts.
"In the old days you might of wrote Billy Bob loves Sarah. Today we're seeing John Paul - follow me on Instagram,” he said.
Meg Matthews with Arkansas State Parks said it is actually pretty easy to track people down because they're leaving behind their personal accounts.
"We will charge them if we have to. We don't want to. We want to use this as a teaching moment, but if we do have to charge them with criminal mischief we will,” Matthews said.
Davenport said this has been going on for almost three years, and the state park is covering up over a dozen a week.
"Because they directly tie themselves to this -- that it's hopefully something we can combat,” Davenport said.
He also said this is not just a problem at Pinnacle Mountain. He said state and national parks nationwide are experiencing it.
Davenport said right now they are not charging people. But if it continues, there will be consequences.
"Most of these are first time offenders. We do need folks to understand graffiti is illegal and offending our natural state won't be tolerated,” Davenport said.
If you witness someone doing graffiti, Davenport says to report it directly to State Parks so they can get it covered up.