SINGAPORE - A seemingly innocuous post that AirAsia flight QZ8501 "has landed safely" by Channel New Asia triggered harsh backlash from netizens for its misleading update.
The Asian cable broadcaster first posted on Facebook at around 9am on Monday that "QZ8501 flight has safely landed at Changi Airport, Terminal 1".
Immediately, netizens lambasted CNA for its regrettable update.
"Same flight same route but not the same plane that was missing yesterday," Facebook user Park Shin Cez commented.
Another Facebook user said: "This news is very confusing. Please don't mislead your readers."
Over the course of the day, CNA made five further edits to its original update on Facebook.
At around 11am, CNA added an editor's note, explaining that it was tracking the flight due to concerns about airlines flying the Singapore-Surabaya route.
"To address queries on why we were tracking this flight, some commentators had raised the issue of continuing bad weather on this route, and whether airlines should consider alternative paths to connect the destinations," CNA said.
"The flight today took off and departed at the scheduled time, with no reports of delays or adverse weather en route."
AirAsia Indonesia also drew scorn for retaining the flight code, while search and locate parties combed through the Java sea for the missing flight.