Recording Passengers/Crew During Incidents...

Old Apr 10, 17, 8:15 pm
  #1  
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Recording Passengers/Crew During Incidents...

My question got lost in that big thread...

My understanding is that UA prohibits recording / photographing UA employees and passengers. So, in this "passenger pulled off plane" incident, would the person who put it on Facebook get into trouble with UA?

How do passengers document incidents if they are not allowed to record / photograph when UA screws up?

In this case, the power of the video is really what made this whole thing viral worldwide!

Thanks.
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Old Apr 10, 17, 8:24 pm
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There is nothing ethically wrong about filming the situation, until a UA rep or police officer tells you not to.

United may want you to refrain from filming crew, but you have rights to film as an independent journalist, even if it’s technically prohibited.
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Old Apr 10, 17, 9:36 pm
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Originally Posted by username View Post
My understanding is that UA prohibits recording / photographing UA employees and passengers. So, in this "passenger pulled off plane" incident, would the person who put it on Facebook get into trouble with UA?
Not really. In this case, the video helps everyone (including UA) to know what had happened.

Originally Posted by username View Post
How do passengers document incidents if they are not allowed to record / photograph when UA screws up?
It is tough. But if the incident is major enough, like this one, I doubt that no one else will do nothing.

The legging incident is a good example.
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Old Apr 11, 17, 2:08 am
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Originally Posted by NikoGoutakolis View Post
There is nothing ethically wrong about filming the situation, until a UA rep or police officer tells you not to.

United may want you to refrain from filming crew, but you have rights to film as an independent journalist, even if it’s technically prohibited.
Only in public spaces, e.g. at the gate.

Inside the plane the airline gets to make the rules, but if they want the video handed over and/or deleted, it's a civil matter. By the time they sue you, it will have played out on YouTUbe.
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Old Apr 11, 17, 2:19 am
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There are a number of defences/justifications when it comes to recording situations like this:

- The person who used disproportionate force on the passenger may well have committed a criminal offence. This would justify recording.

- The event is undoubtably in the public interest. This would support releasing into the public domain.

If my flailing body were dragged down the aisle of a United aircraft until I was bloodied and bruised, I'd want every single news organisation in the world to re-play the footage as frequently, and for as long my as possible, until everyone knows what a nasty & despicable company United Airlines is.
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Old Apr 11, 17, 7:38 am
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I actually wish there was more recording, people don't whip out their phones until the situation is already clearly out of hand. Then just the awful bits end up on social media and the context is reduced to hearsay.
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Old Apr 11, 17, 8:13 am
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Originally Posted by zymm View Post
I actually wish there was more recording, people don't whip out their phones until the situation is already clearly out of hand. Then just the awful bits end up on social media and the context is reduced to hearsay.
Well, it's difficult for most people to tell if an issue will escalate into something that is worthy of recording. Many times, issues are resolved without a problem and most people aren't even aware anything happened.

Last edited by windhund; Apr 11, 17 at 8:13 am Reason: wording
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Old Apr 11, 17, 9:22 am
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Lucky for me - I go to Canada 3-4 times a year for business

Sadly for me - It means I fly Air Canada.


Three times in dealing with Air Canada's particularly low standards of customer service I have pulled out my cell phone and taken a photo of the agent "for my records". I have had one lady go into full meltdown and get the police involved. The responding officer asked me to delete and I refused, he told the employee that he couldn't make me delete it and it was a civil matter.

Now, to AC's credit, I haven't heard of them deboarding a 69 year old Doctor with force, but using a camera or cell phone to document things has its advantages. I think the United passengers were correct in doing so.
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Old Apr 11, 17, 11:26 am
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My problem with everyone filming is just that: they're not doing anything to help whatever situation is being filmed. If one of the folks filming had instead said "hey, this guy's so against leaving the plane that he's willing to be carried out, I'll give up my seat", problem solved. Not saying that's "the right thing" in the 30k foot view, just that it was one solution. And it's a worrying trend in society. Everyone wants to film. Few want to actually do anything to help. Sure, in some cases filming is all you can do, but not all. I think about the woman who spent $700 to buy a last-minute ticket for the gentleman who didn't have a ticket for his daughter thinking she wouldn't need one but did because she had just turned 2. Sometimes quick action and sacrifice by a bystander is all it takes to get a good resolution. If you absolutely had to be on the flight, I wouldn't expect you to volunteer, but there had to be at least one person who didn't have an urgent need and could have been a good samaritan.

Don't want to get this off-topic. My point is: if your instinct is to immediately whip out your camera and start filming, you should learn to also say: is there anything I can do to help rather than just filming?
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Old Apr 11, 17, 11:42 am
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There's a difference between illegal and immoral. It may not be legal to film a beatdown in a plane, but not documenting it would be immoral.
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Old Apr 11, 17, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by The smallest state View Post
I have had one lady go into full meltdown and get the police involved. The responding officer asked me to delete and I refused, he told the employee that he couldn't make me delete it and it was a civil matter.
Ding ding, we have a winner. If AC or UA or whoever wishes to try to enforce this provision, they are free to go to court and litigate it.
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Old Apr 11, 17, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by MikeMpls View Post
Only in public spaces, e.g. at the gate.

Inside the plane the airline gets to make the rules, but if they want the video handed over and/or deleted, it's a civil matter. By the time they sue you, it will have played out on YouTUbe.
Reconsidering the 2nd part of this, and from the IANAL (I am not a lawyer) department, once police are involved the courts might very well decide this as a 2nd amentment issue. Documenting police activity (and esp. abuse) is an important 2nd amendment activity and fairly well established in the case law.
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Old Apr 11, 17, 12:00 pm
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They can ask you to stop taking photos or film inside their property.

They CANNOT force you to delete anything you have. They can ask, but they cannot seize your personal property and tamper with it.

A good line to use when someone says "filming is illegal, you must delete it" is to respond with "you want me to destroy evidence of a crime?".
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Old Apr 11, 17, 12:04 pm
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Originally Posted by milypan View Post
Ding ding, we have a winner. If AC or UA or whoever wishes to try to enforce this provision, they are free to go to court and litigate it.

Yes agreed. It was an RCMP officer in Winnipeg. He took about 4 minutes to come up and the lady breathlessly recounted how she was doing her job and I am a difficult customer and I took her photo and he needs to confiscate my phone.

He looked at me and said "I can't demand you delete it, but I would ask you to delete it, in order to diffuse the situation"

I said " I'm sorry, I will send this to Air Canada customer relations only and not use it for any other purposes".

His take was the airport was a public place and it might be a bit of a dick move but there was nothing illegal. He did ask to see the photo to see if it had anything sexual or illegal but it was just her angry face.

I didn't get the upgrade though.
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Old Apr 11, 17, 1:48 pm
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Originally Posted by zymm View Post
I actually wish there was more recording, people don't whip out their phones until the situation is already clearly out of hand. Then just the awful bits end up on social media and the context is reduced to hearsay.
I said this on the big thread also--might be time to install small cameras on board for the cabin to avoid the he said/she did back and forth--if cops can wear cameras on their shirts, sticking a couple of small cameras in the celing of a cabin shouldn't be an issue
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