Alexandra Tselios

Smoke Signal: MH370 text is short on character

Image: AAP

When flight MH370 was announced as “missing” on March 8th with 239 crew and passengers while en-route to Kuala Lumpur, the whole world responded with a “WTF, HOW?”.

How is it possible that an entire plane could go missing and yet our iPhones are constantly trackable?

Quickly, the conspiracy theories raged and many battled between swinging emotions – from the Julian Marrow‘s of the world making jokes on air to the memes circulating on Facebook that MH370 is the “hide and seek winner for 2014” while others urged us to all pray.

It has been a tumultuous time for the families of those who boarded fateful  Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, a time that saw tensions rise between China and Malaysia, with the Chinese suggesting that Malaysia needed to “step up” their efforts in searching for the missing aircraft.

A time when the world has watched closely as, fragment by fragment, the threads of this tragedy were painstakingly put together to try and understand what happened.

Malaysian PM Najik Razak announced publicly that, after careful analysis of the planes positioning over the Indian Ocean, the most likely scenario was that the plane plunged into the ocean and that they must assume, based on the data, no one has survived.

Marring this long awaited announcement was something that occurred not long prior to it that has stunned many, with a general sense of shock at the lack of sensitivity displayed.

Malaysian airlines sent a text message to the families of the  passengers on board the MH370 flight. The text message simply read “Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived. As you will hear in the next hour from Malaysia’s Prime Minister, we must now accept all evidence suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean.”

Malaysian Airlines have responded with a “this was just a sensible and practical” approach to ensure mass communication was achieved. I mean, I get it, as the urgency of providing the relatives of the MH370 passengers with the information before it hit the mainstream press was their primary aim and if all other avenues are exhausted why not…

But did the wording of the text from Malaysian Airlines really need to be so…clinical?

TBS sends our thoughts to those both in Australia and abroad who have lost loved ones in this awful tragedy.

Alexandra Tselios

Founder and CEO of The Big Smoke, Alexandra oversees the leading digital content platform in both Australia and the USA. As a social and technology commentator, she is interviewed most days of the week on radio and appears on ABC's The Drum and ABC News24. Alexandra is also a Director of NFP think tank, Plus61J, which explores the political and social ties between Australia and Israel; and sits on the board of Estate-Planning FinTech start-up NowSorted.

Related posts


  1. Jeremy said:

    exactly, it was CLINICAL. That ia great way to say it I couldn’t work out the best way. Thank you.

  2. SteveandKylie said:

    We agree Alexandra the way those families have been treated have been a media spectacle and absolutely atrocious. How the Malaysian and chinese ‘authorities’ have behaved has been terrible and the media is also to blame with their constant camping around grieving families and snapping photos and paparazzi. I applaud your site, The Big Smoke, for dealing with this respectfully, with humor and without exploiting the families by showing images of hysterical people.

  3. Ben said:

    Spot on Alexandra. The cowardness of the wording is getting my goat.

Comments are closed.

Share via