HOUSTON – The #PlaneBae saga has taken a dark turn as the woman featured in a series of tweets earlier this month said in a statement that she has faced many shades of online harassment since her interactions with a man on a flight went viral.
The woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous, released this statement to Business Insider:
"I am a young professional woman. On July 2, I took a commercial flight from New York to Dallas. Without my knowledge or consent, other passengers photographed me and recorded my conversation with a seatmate. They posted images and recordings to social media, and speculated unfairly about my private conduct.
"Since then, my personal information has been widely distributed online. Strangers publicly discussed my private life based on patently false information. I have been doxxed, shamed, insulted and harassed. Voyeurs have come looking for me online and in the real world. "I did not ask for and do not seek attention. #PlaneBae is not a romance - it is a digital-age cautionary tale about privacy, identity, ethics and consent.
"Please continue to respect my privacy, and my desire to remain anonymous."
Since her statement was released, Euan Holden, the man dubbed #PlaneBae has released a video on YouTube and Twitter, saying the experience has been “humbling” and a “whirlwind.”
Holden, a model and former soccer player, has been interviewed on "The Today Show" about the plane meeting but has defended and advocated for his seatmate’s privacy.
“All it took was a few individuals so anxious and excited to find out more that they went to the depths of really searching to find and reveal the identity of someone who didn’t want to be found," he said in his YouTube video. "It’s sad, really. I hope that this story, if nothing else, can shine light on the topic of privacy, and I think that in this day and age, that there’s a lot of people on the fence about not knowing what’s right and what’s wrong, so hopefully this can create a platform for positive talks and ultimately a step in the right direction. The third person involved, incredibly, incredibly supportive this whole week. We were in constant communication, you know, making sure that she was OK with you know, the direction it was headed with what was being said and ultimately just wanted their privacy respected, and rightly so. It’s everyone’s right and it should be respected. But ultimately the message was continue to share the happiness, the excitement that was out there.”
Earlier this week, Rosie Blair deleted the viral tweets she posted during the flight, and released a statement of her own on Twitter.
It reads in part, “The last thing I want to do is remove agency and autonomy from another woman. I wish I could communicate the shame I feel in having done this, but I truly feel that at this point my feeling are irrelevant. This may be coming too little too late.”
What do you think about the #PlaneBae story? Should the story have been shared on social media? Where do you think the lines should be drawn? Let us know in the comments.