EasyJet Really Sat Passengers On Broken Chairs And Asked Them To Delete The Evidence, Yeet

Welcome to the Streisand Effect.

Today, UK airline easyJet was slammed with the harsh reminder that screenshots really do live forever, and that when you ask a customer to delete the evidence of your dodgy behaviour, that will only draw more attention to it.

Yesterday, a photo surfaced on Twitter of a woman sitting on an easyJet flight in a chair with no back. Twitter user @mattiasharris captioned the photo, “#EasyJet beats @Ryanair to have backless seats…How can this be allowed?”

Credit: Twitter

And you thought screaming babies and bad plane food was the worst part of flying.

That’s the tip of the iceberg. Credit: Giphy

EasyJet quickly responded to the social media backlash by explaining that “no passengers were permitted to sit in these seats as they were inoperative awaiting repair.”

“Safety is our highest priority and easyJet operates its fleet of aircraft in strict compliance with all safety guidelines,” the company added in a statement.

However, in another Tweet the airline also asked @mattiasharris to “remove the photograph and then DM us more info.”

Credit: Twitter

This obviously didn’t go down well with social media users who were already weighing in on the dodgy chairs. @mattiasharris refused to delete the photo and another used asked, “are you implying that if the photograph isn’t removed you won’t investigate this?” It was re-shared countless times by other users in the thread.

Credit: Twitter

Never mind the extremely worrying backless chairs, easyJet’s Twitter faux pas is the perfect example of The Streisand Effect, a phenomenon whereby attempting to hide, remove or censor information you end up actually publicising it on a much grander scale.

The phenomenon is named after actress Barbara Streisand, who tried to hide images of her Malibu home in 2003 but ended up drawing more attention to it. 

Nice try, Barbs. Credit: Giphy

This happened in 2003. It’s been 16 years since then – have we learned nothing? Let it be a lesson that covering up your mistakes on social media can be a sure fire way to magnify them…but perhaps allowing people to board a flight with backless chairs shouldn’t be happening in the first place. 

Good Luck Relaxing On A Plane Now That Your Every Move Is Being Filmed

Strap yourself in and enjoy the ride.

Next time you’re simultaneously snoring and drooling on a long-haul flight, you might want to check yourself, because your every move is reportedly being recorded. 

Say what? Credit: Giphy

This week, Cathay Pacific made headlines with a new privacy policy which states passengers will being recorded through their in-flight entertainment as well as at the airport. To make matters worse, the footage of you picking your nose mid-flight will apparently be stored for “as long as necessary.”

According to Forbes, Cathay Pacific’s new policy is part of a three-year restructure in response to a major data breach in 2018 which affected 9.4M Cathay customers. 

The new policy includes fairly standard points, including the creation of customer profiles featuring meal preferences, frequent flyer info and passport details. However, other recorded information, like “your activity at airport departure and arrival halls,” and the collection of “your images captured via CCTV in our airport lounges and aircraft,” feels rather unnecessary. 

Your screen will see ALL. Credit: Giphy

In March this year, Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hogg said the tracking of customer behaviour was to better “understand what people like and what they don’t like,” but the policy states this personal data will be shared with “third party partners for marketing purposes.”

There are also major flaws to the policy, and in the communication of it to customers. Forbes reported that in an email to passengers, Cathay said “we want you to know that your personal information is secure,” but later on the policy says, “no data transmission…can be guaranteed to be secure.” 

Huh? Credit: Giphy

The publication also noted that Cathay’s policy makes privacy guarantees to certain markets, but not to all. For instance, “the European appendix notes some transaction details will be kept for six to ten years,” but “the general policy has no specific retention period.”

Either way, the thought of being secretly recorded via your in-flight entertainment system feels super creepy and intrusive, and is just another part of modern life that is no longer private.

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