1. There is a lot of unverified information being spread like wildfire. Stay skeptical and wait for verified evidence.
2. Regarding the supposed wreckage at Belitung Island: after MH370 there were plenty of “eyewitness” reports of plane wreckage and debris found at random parts of the world. All of them were proven false. Until we have verified evidence let’s not jump to conclusions that a plane actually did crash there let alone QZ8501.
3. If working on whereismh370 has taught me anything it’s that the mainstream media can be just as bad, if not worse, than social media in spreading unverified rumours. Fact-check, follow their sources, and notice any discrepancies between headlines and content (which happens a lot).
4. If the report is “unconfirmed” or “unverified” then take it with a HUGE grain of salt. Mainstream media is quick to jump on “unconfirmed” news as “breaking” news, so be careful.
5. AirAsia is a Malaysia-owned company, but it has nothing much to do with Malaysia Airlines. They have a lot of subsidaries around the region, including Indonesia, which is why some people are referring to QZ8501 as an Indonesian-owned plane.
6. The passenger manifest was officially released to Twitter by the Indonesian Communications Ministry. There may have been earlier “leaks”, and the ethics of the Ministry releasing the names now is up for debate, but it’s not necessarily an “irresponsible leak”.
7. Asides from AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines both being based in the same country, you should not try to draw any sort of connections or inferences between QZ8501, MH370, and MH17. One was the work of militants and was not anything Malaysia could have done anyway. This one seems likely to be weather-related. There’s nothing inherent to Malaysia that causes planes to go down, especially since both airlines have had stellar safety records.
8. QZ8501 did not disappear in the same space as MH370. So cut it out with the Bermuda Triangle comments already.
9. Don’t immediately assume terrorism or Government coverup. Planes crash for all sorts of reasons.
10. I have already seen people of the witchy-woo bent either trying to blame the missing planes on some kind of Law of Attraction fuckery (e.g. finding Instagram photos of passengers talking about being nervous about the flight and accusing them of attracting the accident) or meaning well and talking about “harmonic convergences” or “we will see aliens now!” or some shit. This is deeply offensive. I really hope I do not have to explain why.
11. There are a couple of photos of a young man working at Changi Airport holding up a sign for QZ8501 shared by news agencies online. For the love of God please do not turn him into some kind of #AlexFromTarget meme! I am already losing faith in the Internet’s ability to be sensitive, and I totally won’t be surprised if this guy ends up being memefied anyway, but still.
12. Re “Oh good, no one from my country is on the flight!”: Dual citizens, permanent residents, temporary visas, and refugees exist. Information about their residency status can be hard to find immediately sometimes (e.g. if I was on that flight I don’t think it would have been immediately obvious to anyone that despite my Malaysian passport I am an Australian PR and am currently based in the US). Also, they’re people. I understand the instinct to look out for your own, but their lives are still important regardless of where they are from.
13. Plenty of planes have disappeared without a trace!