Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has dominated news and social media since the plane disappeared on March 8. Though the search for the missing plane is ongoing, today Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Rajak gave a press conference stating that the flight “ended” in the Indian Ocean, asserting that there are no survivors. While most of the world may feel somewhat relieved by this authoritative stance on the passengers’ fates, the families of the passengers probably don’t feel as comforted considering they learned the news about their loved ones via text message.
CNN live-tweeted coverage of the press conference and events thereafter, including posting the text message for the public to see:
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) March 24, 2014
The text message has brought about much disapproval and anger and even more social media and news coverage on the flight. Twitter users are sharing their outrage with tweets about how inconsiderate and offensive it was for Malaysia Airlines to convey this news through text message. People are also taking the text as a reflection of technology‘s overpowering influence over us.
Malaysia Airlines issued a statement in an attempt to mitigate the backlash from sending a text to the families. In the statement, the airline explains that the texts were used “only as an additional means of communicating with the families.” The airline called the families and, for those families in Beijing and Kuala Lumpur, told them the news in person. They wanted to use all types of communication, including text messages, to relay the update to the families. The statement also pledges support for those grieving and promises to continue the ongoing investigation of the tragedy.
@cnnbrk They sent the families a TEXT?! Wow. Theres a time & place for that, but thats not one of them.
— Lisa Manning (@LisaManningWSM) March 24, 2014
— Denise Hensler (@drparker76) March 24, 2014
@cnnbrk so thoughtful to TEXT them all.
— lauren (@jauregrons) March 24, 2014