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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 17 July 2018

After going viral, #Planebae story now faces backlash

Rosey Blair live-tweeted a story about two strangers meeting on a plane that went massively viral, then the criticism started to come in 

Rosey Blair live-tweeted about a budding plane romance which went viral, but now she faces a harsh backlash for her actions.
Rosey Blair live-tweeted about a budding plane romance which went viral, but now she faces a harsh backlash for her actions.

By now, most people are aware of the Twitter “love story” that has gone viral after Texan woman Rosey Blair live-tweeted an encounter of two strangers meeting on a plane.

For those who need a quick recap: Blair had wanted to sit next to her boyfriend on a flight and asked to switch seats with the woman (who would later be identified as Helen) and joked that maybe she would find the love of her life after they swapped. Well, something of that sort seemed to have happened.

Blair live-tweeted the entire details of two strangers randomly meeting and seemingly getting along, sharing updates to the now captivated audience following along on Twitter. Her original thread was retweeted nearly 370,000 times and covered by many news outlets around the world. It also created the hashtags #Planebae and #catchingFlightANDFeelings

However, in the week or so since the story broke, it’s been a whirlwind adventure for all involved. Blair, her boyfriend Houston Hardaway and "Plane Bae" (who chose to out himself) Euan Holden have enjoyed newfound quasi-fame, which included amassing many followers on social media and conducting interviews on television. However, the mysterious woman had not identified herself yet.

In a video uploaded by Holden, he said he wanted to thank everyone "for respecting Helen's privacy" and that "it's obviously a lot to take on board in such a short period of time and it can be pretty overwhelming", seemingly alluding to her hesitation in the face of sudden internet fame.

The backlash...

In a now deleted video, Blair originally updated her story saying that the woman didn’t give consent for her identity to be shared, but winked while saying “I’m sure you guys are sneaky", which users found troubling.

In the days after, many people noticed that the anonymous woman had reportedly deleted many of her social media accounts after being dogged and harassed by strangers on the internet. One user pointed out the difference between how men and women are treated.

Another said that Helen had suffered because of Blair's "lack of boundaries".

More so, they felt that Blair and her boyfriend Hardaway had helped to escalate the issues by invading her privacy and then shamelessly exploiting her so they could gain more attention. Blair has been particularly criticised for (in a now deleted tweet) asking for a job at Buzzfeed along the way.

She has since deleted the original thread and uploaded an apology.

Some sided with her, saying it was just internet trolls taking over a feel-good story.

And even offered her support.

However, many people are still not impressed.

What was once a feel-good story has quickly taken a dark turn. While it doesn't look like Helen will make an appearance or statement any time soon, we'll keep an eye out for any updates on this story.

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Read more:

Love is in the air: Twitter user goes viral after capturing budding in-flight romance

Emirati couple who caused storm with unorthodox engagement party tell their story

Love Has No Borders: The Instagram initiative showcasing tales of cross-cultural relationships

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