Virgin Atlantic Poked by 'Facebook 13' Kerfuffle

Posts on Social Network Shows Dangers of Public Oversharing

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Having sacked a baker's dozen of its cabin crew for making disparaging remarks about everything from customers -- "chavs" -- to company jets, Virgin Atlantic is now dealing with a bit of user-generated criticism.

The saga of the "Facebook 13" began Friday, when the company said it had fired a bunch of employees who used one of the massively popular social network's groups for the purposes of deriding passengers, for questioning the jets' cleanliness and, most disturbing, for making the claim that its planes needed several engine replacements a year.

The employees are gone and the page has been taken down, but that hasn't stopped Virgin Atlantic's official Facebook page from turning into a rallying point for the Facebook 13's cause. One Ellen Simonetti of Austin, Texas, has been especially quick to call the airline to task, with several posts on its wall and a drawing that screams in a blood-red font "Hypocrites!" A sample wall post: "The truth is, you didn't like what they had to say, so they're out! You're just a bunch of corporate bullies like the rest!"

The term "chav," meanwhile, is defined here. Needless to say, it's probably not a descriptor for the trendy airline's target customer.
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