Twitter erupted with the hashtags #GermanWings, #4u9525, and #4u9525 today as users mourned the 150 people killed after a German Wings plane, part of the Lufthansa group, crashed in France.
According to social media monitoring platform, Brandwatch, it isn’t unusual for users to mourn via social media, and the increased large-scale plane crashes in the last two years have further pushed this trend.
“Social media is the front line of breaking news, especially when it comes to airplane tragedies which dominate social conversations in the days following an incident. We’ve seen it before with AirAsia Flight QZ8501 and VS43, hashtags trend and the world comes together to analyze, discuss, and mourn online,” said a representative for Brandwatch.
“When an emotional or tragic event occurs people take to social platforms to express love and well wishes, and of course to get the latest updates. The tragic incident today is no exception, as evidenced by the more than 260,000 mentions on social media discussing the crash.”
While the event occurred in Europe, and there have been no confirmed American victims, the highest amount of mentions, 39 per cent, came from the US. Only three per cent of mentions came out of Germany, and two per cent out of France.
— ♛ (@Last_Eon) March 24, 2015
Prayers for the bereaved of #Germanwings
— Bernadeth C Balangue (@bcbalangue) March 24, 2015
R.I.P. to all those who lost their lives on #Germanwings flight 4U 9525. The world's thoughts are with you all. Such a terrible tragedy!
— Liam Fitzsimmons (@liamfjournalist) March 24, 2015
Thoughts and prayers for the families of the passengers of flight 4U9525 #Germanwings
— Damien Hunting (@DamienHuntingCP) March 24, 2015
My heart goes out to all those suffering in the aftermath of the #GermanWings tragedy.
— Megan Himel (@meganhimel) March 24, 2015
thoughts are with all the families that lost their loved ones in the crash, so sad. Rest in peace. #Germanwings
— holly (@hollbowker) March 24, 2015
Just discovered that daughter of an old friend is #Germanwings cabin crew but wasn't on flight, brought home the enormity of it all
— Richard McKenzie (@MckRich) March 24, 2015
In order to help handle media fallout from the crash, Lufthansa head of marketing for the Americas, Florian Gmeiner, rapidly left the 4As Transformation conference in Austin where he was set to speak on a panel earlier today. The panel was subsequently cancelled.