A Southwest Airlines passenger received unsolicited ‘inappropriate photos and videos’ from another passenger via Airdrop on Friday, prompting flight attendants to call out the sender.
While on Southwest Airlines flight from Louisville to Chicago, Kat Pitman received the unsolicited Airdrop, USA Today reported.
Pitman shared in a post that she was on her morning flight when she was “bombarded by inappropriate photos and videos via Airdrop.”
The Airdrop feature on allows people to “instantly share… photos, videos, documents, and more with other Apple devices that are nearby.” Users can choose to have Airdrop receiving open to everyone, just contacts, or completely off.
“I had turned it on yesterday to have a business card from a client sent to avoid giving out my cellphone. I totally forgot to turn it off,” Pitman wrote.
Pitman told USA Today she first received an airdrop of a pornographic image. She immediately turned off the feature, but then turned it back on to grab a screenshot of the sender’s name. When she turned Airdrop back on, she was sent more Airdrops with a video and “graphic photo.”
Pitman said in her post she has “read a lot of Airdrop sexual harassment in public but was shocked to experience it on a plane.”
She immediately told two male flight attendants about the online harassment, and they announced on the plane’s PA system that the anonymous sender — only known by the vulgar name “Dildo Baggins” shown on the Airdrop — to stop sending the pictures and videos.
“I appreciate the direct response and I am thankful for their support. Now I am left hoping this never happens to my teenage daughters,” Pitman wrote.
Southwest spokesman Chriz Mainz confirmed to USA Today that a passenger sent inappropriate pictures and videos on AirDrop on Southwest Flight 1388.
“The safety and comfort of all of our customers is our highest concern, and we don’t condone such inappropriate behavior,” Mainz said in a statement to USA TODAY. “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.”
Given the name “cyber-flashing,” many proposed bills have prompted a debate over whether the practice should be made illegal.
Late last year, NYC lawmakers proposed a bipartisan bill aimed to outlaw sending unsolicited lewd images, as reported by the New York Times.
The bill would make it “unlawful for a person, with the intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person, to send by electronic device an unsolicited intimate image,” as reported by NYT.
Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd shared she was working with lawmakers from both parties to launch make the same kinds of content illegal in an article for Cosmopolitan. The bill would make it a Class C misdemeanor.
People will always find a way to misuse technology, won’t they? We have to admit, the name ‘Dildo Baggins‘ is a bit funny…