October 17, 2009


Teachable Moment: Don’t Write a Hysterical Rant Against Someone…

by Elizabeth on October 17, 2009

by Elizabeth Kricfalusi, Tech for Luddites

...when there just might be video available that completely contradicts your story.

Yesterday, a blogger posted a lengthy story, TSA agents took my son, claiming that her son had been taken from her during a secondary screening at the Atlanta airport. She also posted a link to her post on Twitter and asked people to retweet it. Many did, most expressing outrage at TSA's insensitive (and against their stated policy) behavior.

Some hours later, TSA responded to the complaint on their own blog. They also included video of the situation taken by the airport's security cameras that showed a very different situation from what the woman had reported, thus unleashing an entirely different kind of outpouring. (I waited to write this post in case she had some explanation for the discrepancies, but her response does nothing to support her original accusations.)

There's no question that social media has proven that it can be a great tool for spreading the word about truly egregious behavior, from poor customer service to brutal government oppression. But I think this incident proves that it's equally as great a tool for getting hoisted by your own petard.

Last Updated: October 17, 2009



{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jomama October 17, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Thanks for posting this. Interesting perspective on how social media has changed…just about everything. I like the Elliott post she referenced in her response: http://www.elliott.org/blog/a-little-advice-for-nicole-white-the-tsa-and-anyone-traveling-with-kids/
The Xanax reference at the end of her original post is telling. The viral nature of this story, and no doubt it was upsetting for her, no matter the relative merits of what she perceived and what really happened, makes me really sure I am glad not to be tweeting.


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