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Woman On Southwest Airlines Receives Lewd Images Over AirDrop In ‘Cyberflashing’ Incident

By Danielle Dorsey

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Southwest Airlines is being applauded for its handling of an inappropriate customer on one of their flights.

USA Today reports that frequent flyer Kat Pitman was settling into her flight from Louisville to Chicago when she received an explicit image via AirDrop from an unknown number. She took a screenshot of the sender’s name and was bombarded with two more inappropriate AirDrop requests in that time.

All of this happened before the plane even left the airport gate. Worried that the sender might be in her row, Pitman alerted the flight attendants who were quick to respond. The crew immediately got on the intercom and told the offender to stop AirDropping Pitman immediately. They checked on Pitman throughout the flight.

Southwest spokesman Chriz Mainz confirmed the incident, saying in a statement, “The safety and comfort of all of our customers is our highest concern, and we don’t condone such inappropriate behavior. Our crews are equipped to respond quickly and appropriately to address these concerns expressed by our customers, which is exactly what they did in this case.”

While Southwest Airlines acted admirably, they were not able to find or apprehend the offender. Pitman told USA Today that she’s since changed her settings so that she no longer automatically accepts AirDrops from “everyone,” but argues that the focus shouldn’t be on her phone settings. The circumstance calls into question how the issue of cyberflashing will be handled and whether how “convenient” technologies such as AirDrop make it easier for predators to harass strangers.

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Danielle Dorsey

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