On Twitter, it’s difficult to know who anyone really is.
Sunday, the user with the account @QueenDemetriax_ tweeted this to American Airlines:
“hello my name’s Ibrahim and I’m from Afghanistan. I’m part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I’m gonna do something really big bye”
account took “Ibrahim” at his (or her) word, even though the name attached to the account was “Sarah.” It replied with, “Sarah, we take these threats very seriously. Your IP address and details will be forwarded to security and the FBI.”
That reply set off a string of panicked tweets in which @QueenDemetriax_ claimed she was only a 14-year-old girl. Among her tweets were, “I’m so sorry I’m scared now,” and, “I was joking and it was my friend not me, take her IP address not mine.”
Some of the tweets during the long freakout still seemed like jokes. For example, “Sarah” also wrote, “I blocked the FBI just in case.”
It appeared the @QueenDemetriax_ account was suspended as of Monday morning, though a few Twitter sleuths tracked her account to the new username @bizzledemetriax
, which is a locked account. She appears to have retained her 31,000 followers, many of whom followed during the Sunday exchange with the airline.
As for American, the airline eventually deleted its reply to @QueenDemetriax_.
“We took it down basically because it generated a lot of traffic,” American spokeswoman Dori Alvarez told the New York Daily News
. “We took it down so we could better focus on our customers.”
As more and more onlookers saw what was happening Sunday, quite a few criticized American for responding to the tweet too harshly, saying it’s hard to believe an actual terrorist would tweet his name and the date of a planned airline attack. Others said @QueenDemetriax_ got what she deserved.
[RELATED: Our 1-day boot camp will whip your social media into shape! Hear how to build a loyal audience, increase media coverage, and inspire your employees.]
American seems to have gotten fully back to the work of responding to customer complaints on Twitter. An FBI spokeswoman told the Daily News
she couldn’t say whether the agency was looking into the Twitter threat.
Michael van Poppel, president of BNONews, tweeted that the girl, who is really 14 and is Dutch, has been arrested by Dutch police.