Teen’s Bomb Threat to American Airlines Sets Off Torrent of Copy-Cat Tweets
After a 14-year-old girl sent a threatening tweet to American Airlines early Sunday and was later detained by Dutch police, dozens of presumed teenagers joined in on the prank and started sending similar tweets to American and other airlines starting Monday.
The original tweet, which read “My name is Ibrahim and I’m from Afghanistan” concluded with “I’m going to do something really big bye,” was followed by a note from American Airlines’ social media team that said “we take these threats very seriously. Your IP address and details will be forwarded to security and the FBI.”
Throughout the Internet community, Sarah’s tweet was discussed and condemned but it apparently struck a chord with at least a handful of other Twitter users who sent similarly threatening notes to American and at least one to Southwest.
The tweets included “the bomb goes off in 3 hours” and “I’m gonna bomb your 737 jet.” One Twitter member demanded American “release” Sarah from custody, threatening to “bomb your HQ.”
The threats, of course, no matter how silly, have to be taken seriously by the airline and have to be reported to authorities. This translates into a huge waste of manpower and also diverts the airline’s Twitter resources, which are largely devoted to providing customer service, from that task.