#PlaneBae Woman Speaks Out: 'I Have Been Doxxed, Shamed And Harassed'
#PlaneBae has become a cautionary tale about privacy in the digital age.
The woman at the centre of a viral story about two strangers meeting on a plane has spoken out, calling it a "digital-age cautionary tale about privacy, identity, ethics and consent."
Last week, a Twitter thread from a woman aboard a plane who documented the meeting between two strangers sitting in front of her went viral.
Although the woman did not identify the two strangers, the man identified himself as Euan Holden, and it was not hard for the internet to find the other person.
More than a week after #PlaneBae went viral, the woman -- a.k.a. #PrettyPlaneGirl -- has spoken out against having her privacy invaded in this way.
In a statement to Business Insider, she said:
“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.”
Although the story initially captured people as the world got caught up in the drama, the backlash was swift. Monica Lewinsky, who uses her high profile platform to advocate against bullying, even apologised for sharing the story in the first place.
The woman who tweeted the initial story, Rosey Blair, has deleted most of her original thread, and apologised for her actions.
"I don't know what to do," she said. "I am at a loss. When I made this and shared it, I was happy, joyful and overcome with authentic and sincere excitement. So much so that I could not see the potential exploitative nature of the outcome and my actions."
Using the woman's first name -- which she says she had permission to do -- she says:
"I apologise for utilizing what could have been a beautiful charming moment among strangers as a tool to communicate a narrative I am fond of. I apologize for taking what should have been a small mundane moment of cheeriness and turning it into something foul and over-amplified. I apologise for taking away something that I myself value quite a bit -- which is sharing one's own story publicly as means to inspire others.
"What I have done is in no way inspirational. Every woman has a right to her own story."
It's a familiar tale. Recently a similar situation in which someone sat near director and actress Greta Gerwig in a cinema and live-tweeted her reaction to I Feel Pretty faced similar backlash.
Gerwig's friend and I Feel Pretty star, Busy Philips, spoke about how uncomfortable the Twitter thread made her feel.
"It just bummed me out on such a deeply personal level for a few reasons," she said on social media.
"It's just the idea that if you are in the public eye in whatever capacity that you just sort of are giving up your autonomy and your privacy, anywhere, that you can't go to a movie theater.
"I think that it's up to the rest of us to understand what privacy is and what discretion is and to allow people to be people."