Misleading internet talk led to Qantas share price drop
February 20th, 2011 by elisa

Misleading talk on the internet about the Qantas A380 engine trouble last November led to a collapse in share prices, the airline has revealed. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the events escalated to crisis level when Twitter reported that a Qantas A380 had crashed after one of its engines exploded over Indonesia. He has urged the media to check facts before running Twitter-led stories.

“We first noticed a problem when our share price started to collapse, and that’s because of these reports coming out of Twitter,” Joyce told The World Today.

“They were reported by one mainstream media outlet on the basis of the Twitter reports that the aircraft had crashed in Indonesia and that started to obviously cause a problem with the share price,” he said.

Joyce says Qantas quickly confirmed the A380 was in fact still in the air, and the airline issued a media release to correct the Twitter report.

“I think it is important that major media outlets don’t pick up on Twitter commentary and report it as fact, which is what happened in this case, and I think that was a bit disappointing,” Joyce said.

“In this modern day and age with social media, you have to be responsive immediately.

“You have to be out there with the facts very fast, so it’s changing the whole dynamic and speed to market that organisations like Qantas have to respond to.”

To limit possible future mis-informed reports Qantas is now active in social networking, and has teams to monitor both Twitter and Facebook and respond to comments.

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