Livestream trouble for Southwest Airline plane passenger

A man who livestreamed the unfolding chaos onboard a stricken Southwest Airlines flight, in which one woman died, in the US has been trolled online.

A man who was onboard a stricken Southwest Airlines flight in the United States, on which one woman died, has been trolled on social media for livestreaming what he thought may have been the last minutes of his life.

Marty Martinez began streaming the chaos on Facebook after an engine exploded midair sending pieces of shrapnel into the plane, killing 43-year-old bank executive Jennifer Riordan who was partially pulled through a shattered window on Tuesday.

Martinez said he opened his laptop and used his credit card to pay for WiFi to film the event, while panicked passengers grabbed oxygen masks around him, because he wanted to communicate with his loved ones but his decision has been lambasted online.

"Trying to contact loved ones is one thing, but to morbidly video and take pictures to post publicly is completely disgusting. Evidently the wrong person was taken from that flight," Dennis Miller said on Facebook in a posting that included colourful language to describe Martinez.

Many social media users defended Martinez's use of Facebook Live, but some said he violated passengers' privacy and sought cheap fame. Others said he was selfish to focus on messaging instead of on the critically injured passenger a few rows away.

"You represent the worst of social media," Tom Burke said on Facebook.

The event illustrates thorny issues facing platforms such as Google's YouTube, Twitter's Periscope and Facebook, already under pressure over privacy and news curating, over hosting live-streaming material.

A photo believed to be of a damaged window of the Southwest Airline flight.
Source: Twitter: @mtranchin

Facebook did not respond to a request for comment on Martinez's posts.

Earlier this month, Facebook vice president Fidji Simo talked about the power of live streaming.

"Live can be a powerful tool in connecting and supporting communities during moments of crisis," Simo said in a post.

Since 2016, the average number of daily Facebook Live broadcasts has doubled year over year, with 3.5 billion live broadcasts since then.

Published 19 April 2018 at 11:16am, updated 19 April 2018 at 9:12pm