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Consumers continue to allege that American Airlines employees have infiltrated or invaded the AA wall space on Facebook -- the online social sphere where some arguably customer-bashing discussions have taken place, possibly as far back as more than two years ago. Despite the reiterated company claim that AA employees are not allowed to post to the wall or fan page space on Facebook, American Eagle Flight Attendant Heather Marie Schneider has been found in conversations and even identified by someone on-board an Eagle flight. There's record of it. Schneider herself has confirmed it. And yet there's been no response by American Airlines or the company's social media department since the question was raised by Wacktrap April 24.
Why does it matter if employees are popping up on a company's Facebook wall? Let's be realistic: it probably happens with companies. Of course businesses want a good image in the public eye. What would be very different is if employees consistently talking a public space, unidentified, arent' just chatting with one another or simply answering questions -- as unidentified employees -- but for some other purpose, say, like battling or embarrassing consumers enough to chase consumers off of a company's social space.
There's many more than two accounts that have frequented the AA wall space, accused by customers of being employees. But after the discovery of Heather Marie Schneider's participation on the AA wall or fan page of Facebook, American Airlines hasn't answered. And aside from Schneider discovered as an American Eagle employee, the airline hasn't answered a second question either: Whether the "Kyle Farrell" also appearing on that wall for at least two years -- with what seem to be some nasty or pointed remarks to customers -- has also been an employee of the company. He's still been actively online in the social space for AA, as recently as a day ago.
American Airlines: Is there any chance that this Kyle Farrell is an employee of American Airlines or American Eagle Airlines? Profile changes after the April 24 question and screenshots seem oddly coincidental. If Farrell is not an employee, it would seem an answer would be forthcoming. To spark short-term memory, the Kyle Farrell on Facebook -- whom has listed himself as moving to 'The Loop' in Chicago early this year -- shares an an identically matching name to an American Eagle Flight Attendant based out of Chicago O' Hare (ORD) Airport, appearing on a seniority list update in late December 2011. There's been courtesy in not publishing that full employee identification number. But there needs to be some answer as to whether that man who roams the physical world shares an identity with one in the online sphere.
That specific Kyle Farrell on Facebook is still roaming the virtual AA space as a dubbed 'frequent flier' according to him. He's appeared even yesterday on the airline's branded wall space. But there have been some changes.
Some might interpret sudden changes to a profile as possible response, or even as possible effort toward discrediting information or question.
Trying to be someone else usually doesn't help. Reason for a sudden switch of both cover and profile pictures may seem odd with timing. If there's any chance changes could be related to someone's bright idea for a 'fix', it may be time to hear from a new 'creative'.
Maybe the new 'Farrell' is supposed to better resemble a globe-trotting jet-setter, rather than any potential Flight Attendant for an airline. There's photo evidence of the switch that occurred just days ago, after Wacktrap highlight of the frequently-appearing Farrell account. And it ain't the same guy. The blonde-haired and slender "Kyle Farrell" whom actually identified himself as seen in the attributed screenshot of a personal Facebook post, doesn't look a thing like the heavier-set, dark-haired man shown. Who's the new guy? Does he even know Farrell? It's hard to know whether he'd prefer not to be Farrell either. Or maybe he knows Farrell well. Perhaps he's a friend. He is in one capacity. But he's certainly not Kyle Farrell.
The fuzzy photo of someone else popped up within roughly a day after release of the Wacktrap, April 24, inquiry about any possible AA employment or tie to the company. There's a number of reasons the identity of this specific Kyle Farrell may be important. He's had a lot to say via the written word on American Airlines' Facebook fan page. Arguably, those words haven't always been so nice. It may matter a lot less if Kyle Farrell just happens to be consumer with an opinion. It may matter a lot more if he happens to work for the company or, perhaps, even be in a role like Flight Attendant.
Four things have happened, quickly, since the April 25 question as to whether American Airlines employees are infiltrating the AA wall or fan page on Facebook. Customers have been bashed by other customers in the social space. The question is: Are those customers battling customers, or someone else?
Just two, of multiple accounts investigated after consumers accused them of being employees of the airline, were detailed on April 24. Yet a funny thing happened: Three accounts, including an extra referenced only in passing, also got some pretty immediate change after Wacktrap reference. It almost seems like a company, versus three individuals, might be best able to orchestrate those types of moves so quickly for multiple accounts.
Here's what happened in four fast moves:
• The account of one “Duane Clark” stopped talking. Imagine that, considering Clark’s typical influx of comments per day to consumers posting on the AA wall of Facebook. It could appear to be strange timing: “Clark” disappeared from American Airlines wall activity right around the same timeframe as users began circulating word of the Wacktrap April 24 article. Not to worry – he’s back, pretty much full force in terms of frequency. It was only momentary. Apparently an airline must believe this is going to blow over. Or blow up.
• The account of one “Adam Hickey” finally got a public profile picture. That was after the Wacktrap investigation regarding the AA fan page referenced the total absence of a profile picture. It’s seems to be a flying squirrel but, hey, one “Hickey” is much more appealing to look at now – especially considering his frequent appearances on the wall space.
• One “Kyle Farrell” in Chicago got a new cover photo and a new profile picture. He must really have been feeling enthusiastic after that day where American Airlines was asked whether he happens to be an employee of the company – with that Master Seniority List of Flight Attendants showing a Chicago O’ Hare Airport (ORD) base for the employee.
There’s no chance that Chicago-area Farrell on Facebook happens to match the Employee number beginning with 606***, with a base out of Chicago O’ Hare (ORD) Airport – is there, American Airlines?
• This one isn’t exactly ‘thriller’ considering obvous prediction: That screenshot of what appears to be an internal airlines reservation system – which “Kyle Farrell” posted to his personal Timeline – is, well, now gone after Wacktrap referenced it April 24. Of course that’s not exactly surprising. If there was a potential scandal over social media use, of course it would look awfully suspicious to simply rip down an entire Facebook account from public view – right after Wacktrap questioned whether consumer allegations of employee infiltration may be, well, right.
But not to worry: There’s a preserved and attached screenshot to compensate for that missing information from the Farrell account on Facebook. It’s not a tough comparison, to see a missing reservation snapshot of five flights over just two weeks -- now disappeared from the current Kyle Farrell account. Just hit that photo to get a glance of what is now a 'Friends' list in place of the previous reservation shown above.
Will the real “Kyle Farrell” please stand up? That original “Kyle Farrell” – who appears so often on the AA wall of Facebook – has identified himself, and he's a slim guy with short, blonde hair. The account's original cover photo before most recent changes is a clearly-branded American Airlines plane on a tarmac. The guy now in his place, magically, looks nothing like him. It would almost appear like someone -- or some company -- was trying to represent that “Kyle Farrell” as somebody completely different. Now that is weird.
Or not so weird -- considering how odd it might seem for an entire profile to suddently be shut down from public view. That drastic change could be interpreted as an action to hide something. But if it might seem wiser to alter or yank information, that may be questionable too. Not to worry: That not-so-old picture of “Kyle Farrell”, from less than a week ago, is still available -- and published for viewing. Time to compare those attached screenshots. Perhaps no one considered that idea should it at all have been associated with any type of frenzy.
The April 25 Wacktrap investigation seems to have hit a nail squarely on the head, at least in terms of one meaningful reaction: Hopefully that new ‘f**k you editor’ account -- registered on the Wacktrap social network roughly one day after question was posed on April 24 -- couldn't possibly be related to any employee of, say, a major airline. Because that would look bad. Maybe not as scandalous as other things that could possibly be proved true. But, still, it might look pretty bad.
Someone would have been wise to hear the final words of April 24: that it not only requested some answer, but was an introduction. That still stands, American Airlines. This series of events just happened in the interim. Or got somehow prompted. When certain occurrences could make someone look like a liar, it does tend to prompt response. And it seems full circle has someone rounded back to a topic of lies or lying. It's dangerous.
There can be such a problem with lies. Has anyone noticed that when untruths start stacking, outcome can become worse and worse? It's a concept to always to bear in mind -- especially if actions could possibly include any idea of discrediting a question versus addressing it.
Some fast screenshot review may be appropriate. At top: the Farrell prior to April 24, 2012. Below: the new-and-improved Farrell.