AirDropped nudes nearly get Southwest flight canceled


AirDropped nudes nearly get Southwest flight cancelled
AirDrop can be misused by pervs with an iPhone. Here's how to turn it off.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A creep nearly ruined a Southwest Airlines flight to Cabo San Lucas by using Apple’s AirDrop file-sharing tech to send unsolicited nudes to fellow passengers.

This is an excellent opportunity for a quick tutorial on how to turn off AirDrop so something like this never happens to you.

Spending strangers nudes is much less funny than you think

AirDrop allows users of Apple devices to directly send files to each other. It’s supposed to take the place of emailing or texting pics to friends and family. Unfortunately, it can be misused, as it was on a recent flight.

The Southwest flight was still on the ground when passengers began to complain of receiving unwanted nudes on their iPhones via AirDrop. It got bad enough that the pilot had to step in.

“If this continues while we’re on the ground I’m gonna have to pull back to the gate, everybody’s gonna have to get off and we’re gonna have to get security involved, and your vacation is going to be ruined,” said the pilot in an announcement to the passengers. “So folks, whatever that AirDrop thing is, quit sending naked pictures and let’s get you to Cabo.”

His warning was recorded and posted on TikTok. Apparently, even creeps don’t want their vacations ruined, and that was the end of the AirDropped nudes.

Whoever was sending the images probably thought it was a hilarious prank, but it’s not a laughing matter to law enforcement. It’s called cyberflashing, and can result in criminal prosecution in the United States and abroad.

How to turn off AirDrop

AirDrop is a convenient way to send images or other files to nearby friends. iPhones, iPads and Macs can exchange files directly to each other over an ad hoc wireless connection. But if it’s left wide open, AirDrop allows pervs to abuse it by cyberflashing.

Fortunately, turning off AirDrop is easy. And people who don’t want to deactivate it because they use it regularly can set their iPhone and Mac so only people they know can send them images this way. Read Cult of Mac’s simple guide on how to quickly activate or deactivate AirDrop.


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