Tag Archives: Alaska

Is Facebook The Right Forum For Asking About Victims’ Names?

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UPDATE: The victims of the Alaska plane crash have since been identified in an updated story in the Post and Courier. With attribution of the names given to The State newspaper.

This Facebook post from Charleston, S.C.’s Post and Courier newspaper is an interesting news-and-social-in-real-time case to keep an eye on. As the S.C. newspaper doesn’t yet know the names of the (presumed) South Carolinians who are victims of a plane crash in Alaska. Thus the paper asked for possible names (of victims) in a Facebook post.

Do you know anyone who might have been on this flight? Nine South Carolina residents were killed in a fiery crash at a small Alaska airport Sunday: http://bit.ly/12TpJw6. The pilot also died in the crash. There were no survivors. The plane caught on fire shortly after 11 a.m. Sunday at the airport in Soldotna, about 75 miles southwest of Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula. Initial reports indicate the plane crashed on takeoff.

Thus far, there are many “Likes” to a comment posted alongside the Post & Courier’s  Facebook request that to place names on Facebook before any family were notified would be “tasteless.”

If I put on my journalist’s hat I see Facebook as simply another tool of the (news-gathering) trade. I don’t see anything too reprehensible about asking for names of possible victims in a Facebook post.

Do you? (We don’t really know, yet, if family members of the victims have been contacted, or not, at this point. We must assume they have not as, according to the Post & Courier, the identification of all the crash victims could take some time.)