Qantas twitterstorm mayhem in 2010

Written on Wednesday, 28 August 2013 by Chris Vo

In my previous blog I decided not to share this case scenario as I thought it may not be relevant to the activity task required so I’ll post what I would've included in a new post.

Qantas does have an endless history for social media PR disasters affecting their reputation and share holds as a result. Back in 2010, Qantas flew into a PR twitter storm when a user from the highly populated social media network, reportedly sparked a disaster with these simple words:

“Sorry have bed news 9.15 am waktu jakarta,qantas airlane from jakarta to sgpr have a accident before landing in batam...hiksss..”

The tweet generated nearly 200 million users who were made to believe that the plane had exploded. But, a relief for the Twitter followers when mainstream media pushed a tweet from a passenger on-board who confirmed the safety of those on the aircraft.

There was still one question which remained. Where was Qantas to provide reassurance of the chaos on twitter? Qantas played no role in keeping curious followers informed during or after the events that unfolded. Surely I would like to be kept up to date with a disaster as it is happening.
Image by socialskinny

So what are the lessons learned from this explosive social media outbreak?
Qantas had failed to recognize how crucial it is to keep the media updated of events to ensure that loved ones aren't left with a cliff-hanger. As a result, an inaccurate piece of information clouded the Twitter network and Qantas’ reputation received a lash for not clearing these misconceptions within a timely manner.

You can learn more about the incident here. 

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