Unsocial Media

19 Nov


British Airways has launched an investigation after a racist message was retweeted from its official Twitter account last Saturday afternoon.

The post was retweeted to its 210,000 followers, which included profane language and a racist comment against Asian people.After the offensive message was deleted, the airline then tweeted an apology saying ‘Apologies for the last RT. We are sorry for any offence caused and are investigating how this may have happened.’The message was originally sent from the account of ‘Asian Ronaldo’ tweeting about his cancelled flight. After the message was ‘accidentally’ retweeted, hundreds of BA followers retweeted or quoted the message and over 150 retweeted the apology.

The story has been published amongst various online news websites, including the daily mail. Online articles give readers the chance to post their comments under the article to express their views and opinions.The daily mail article received numerous comments from their online readers deriving from the appauling messages that were made by the original sender ‘Asian Ronaldo.’ Many comments explained how internet users hide behind their keyboard and would not use the language or the messages they use online in a face-to-face situation.

Everyone has their opinion or their view on the world and the right to freedom of speech. However sometimes you have to think twice about the things you publish to millions of people. The Boy may have been ranting to his few hundred followers online, but in extreme cases these messages can be seen by more viewers than you imagined.

Disregarding the damage the message may have done to the reputation to British Airways, malicious, racist or harmful comments should be monitored and regulated on social media sites. Facebook terms and conditions say they terminate accounts for abusive behaviour and comments. However Twitter ask account members to report abusive behaviour making it the reponsibility of users themselves.Personally I have never known or heard of FaceBook accounts being deleted due to abusive behaviour, however there have been multiple occassions (In the UK) where Police investigate and advise victims of trolling and cyberbullying to delete tormentors from their profiles.Yet Twitter make it the repsonsibility of its users to report any abusive behaviour, the problem will never be solved if users have to ‘snitch’ as the troll will just create a new account.

Will there ever be any successful regulation for social media sites?

And some advice…It is best to keep things to yourself, if you wouldn’t say it to your Gran, then don’t say it at all.


One Response to “Unsocial Media”

  1. Angela November 19, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    The fact is that trolls get a kick out of people talking about them – like the guy who verbally abused Tom Daley. But no one would have know this guy if it hadn’t been retweeted by mistake. Anononimity makes people very brave.

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