Summary of “A tale of two Airlines and their Facebook fiascos.”

The text “A tale of two airlines and their Facebook fiascos” is an article from the magazine The Economist print edition of November 6th 2008. This article talks about the problems that two big airline companies (British Airways and Virgin Atlantic) have had because of their social networks.
Through these networks such as Facebook and MySpace the companies can have a lot of advantages such as being a useful marketing tool and reaching a wider audience; but they can also have a lot of disadvantages due to the fact that they can be a source of damaging publicity.
These two airline companies have discovered that part of their crew has been using these social networks such as Facebook and MySpace to insult the passengers that fly with them saying they are “smelly” and “annoying”; but not only that, they have also posted derogatory comments about the safety standards and the planes of the airlines. For example, that there were cockroaches in the planes.
The question now is the following: are these airlines really responsible for this? British airways says that the company’s employees sign a policy that does not allow them post online information about the company. On the other hand, Virgin Atlantic has an internal channel where the crew can vent frustrations.
The text concludes by pointing out to big lessons of this. The first one is that “anything you know say online is amplified by these services”. And the other one is that managers need to monitor online activity to ensure themselves that the rules are respected because prevention is far better than cure.

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