I’m not a Staff member. I’m not a Moderator. I’m not even a Regular. All I am is a person who spent four years of his life here on IFC, three years of which as an active user. And I’m disappointed.
Yesterday something tragic happened. A Suchoi SU-100 crashlanded in Moscow resulting in the loss of many human lifes.
It has become some tradition that after a significant accident or incident, somebody opens a topic here on IFC to share and discuss news about the event. And don’t get me wrong, that’s fine. I opened such topics myself. It’s a good place to stay informed, share thoughts, send condolences, … And after all, this is an aviation community, and unfortunately, those accidents are part of aviation.
However, sharing news isn’t the only thing that’s happening in the comments of such topics. And what I’m about to write is not just referring to yesterdays Moscow-Accident. It is relating to every topic of that category, like the Ethiopian Airlines Crash or the Lion Air Crash. I’m not going to quote users. I’m not going to shame users publicly. I’m going to write what I’m thinking and why I’m disappointed about the things that are commented under those topics.
When you read through those accident topics, you notice that there are a lot of answers and comments. So many, that it is tough to keep track of what is going on. Some of those comments are links to newspapers. Some send their prayers and condolences. Some share information they know for a fact. And that’s all fine. But sadly, a lot of those comments are pure speculation. Speculations about the cause of the accident, only an hour after it occurred. Speculations if and how many people died. Speculations of what the consequences of the crash might be just hours after the event.
Yesterday’s topic is a perfect example. For a while, all you could read were unconfirmed reports about the number of victims. Some people wrote that there were two victims. Another one said that everybody survived. And another one posted something about 20 victims. Again, everything based on unconfirmed numbers. Therefore, that’s speculation. And speculating itself is one thing. Speculating about the number of victims is just disrespectful and wrong. We’re not just talking about numbers here. Behind every number stands a human life. A Person. And reducing those persons to only unconfirmed numbers is just not right. I want you to imagine for a second that you knew someone on board. And then you come to IFC and start reading that everyone survived. Then you see another comment about 30 victims. Then another one about 2. How would you feel?
Now, let’s move to the next type of speculation: The speculation about the cause of the crash. It is impossible to say what caused the accident only one hour after it happened. One of the worst things I saw in a topic last year was somebody who blamed the pilots just three hours after the first reports. Same thing: Imagine you knew the pilot and then you come across somebody who is blaming him for the accident and the death of dozens of people without any proof, confirmation or whatsoever. This. Is. Wrong.
Something else I see is discussions between users. Those are fine as long as they are constructive, respectful and on-topic. I saw users fighting and almost cursing at one another under such topics. That is just disrespectful. Not only so, but it also spams the comments and makes everything else hard to track. Not everyone needs to see what you guys are discussing. Move it to a PM and keep going there.
One last thing I want to address are the images and videos that are posted sometimes. Somethings just go too far. Yesterday, somebody posted an Instagram video that was taken inside the burning Aeroflot plane. You heard people screaming. You heard children screaming. It was disturbing. I can see that a video like that might be important when it comes to the investigation of the crash. I can also see that the user who posted it might have thought that it’s okay because it’s related to the topic. But I’m 21 years old and it really disturbed me to hear those screams. 21 years doesn’t make me an adult or anything of course, but please don’t forget that we have people here on IFC who are under 15 years old. And especially for those younger users, seeing a video like that can be terrifying. I want to thank @schyllberg at this point who did a great job moderating yesterday’s topic and deleting the mentioned video.
See, this isn’t a majority I’m talking about here. A lot of you are decent, respectful and kind. I got to know so many people on IFC and I’d love to meet all of whom one day. But every day, more than 100 users join IFC. And under every new accident topic, the number of those speculating comments is increasing.
For those of you who didn’t want to read this whole text, here’s a summarization of what I want to ask you:
What I want to ask you is that before you comment: Read again what you wrote, ask yourself if it is based on facts or just speculation. Ask yourself if you would want to read such a comment when you’d be affected. I also ask you to please be careful when posting images and videos. Not everything needs to be here on IFC. Don’t forget that we have children among us and ask yourself if it’s truly necessary to post something like that.
And please: Don’t forget that when we’re talking about victims, every number is a human life that was just erased — a painful loss for somebody out there.
And besides everything about being respectful: If you don’t change that behavior, that kind of topics will probably soon not be allowed here anymore. Yesterday’s topic was just inches away before getting closed. And I would have supported that. Enough is enough.
Thank you for your time. Happy Landings and a good day/night.