|Malaysia Airlines Texts Bad News to Families
By: Jessica Cherok
When Malaysia Airlines found that they believe to be wreckage from flight MH370, they sent a text message to the families of the missing passengers. Likely, the text was sent in an effort to be quick and responsive; something the airline has been accused of not being. However, the text came off as cold and in poor taste.
The text read, “Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived.” It was sent to waiting relatives on Monday, March 24.
As a result, Malaysia Airlines has been condemned for how it delivered the news. While the airline has not made an official statement about why the message was delivered via text, speculation has been that the decision was made in order to prevent the news from breaking from other sources. The airline was also certainly feeling the pressure of needing to appear responsive, after nearly two weeks of being accused of not passing along information.
In their rush to limit more bad PR related to their unresponsiveness, Malaysia Airlines forgot the most import rule: don’t be a heartless jerk. Whatever rationale the company had behind its decision to send the text, it was a terrible idea and they now end up facing a worse firestorm.
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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