Europe

Jokes about the EgyptAir hijacker divide social media

hijacked aircraft Image copyright AP
Image caption EgyptAir Flight MS181, bound for Cairo, was forced to divert to Larnaca airport in Cyprus

When EgyptAir Flight MS181 with 63 passengers on board was hijacked by a suspected terrorist, concerns about airport security were raised again.

But as details emerged about the situation, people started sharing jokes about the hijacker's possible motives.

It seemed the man, who was pretending to be wearing a suicide belt, was less interested in terrorism and more concerned with contacting his ex-wife, although his exact motives remain unclear.

As the information began to be shared, Twitter users took the opportunity to joke about the incident but not everyone found the jokes amusing.

One Twitter user @iamkoshiek commented: "There's nothing romantic about endangering the lives of 50+ people 30,000ft in the air."

Image copyright @ATSOULOUPAS
Image caption One of the memes created as the hijack was taking place

Even though details emerging were unclear, many of the tweets mocked the hijacker's seemingly extreme methods to get his ex-wife's attention.

Image copyright @r_uhi
Image caption One of the thousands of joke tweets posted following suggestions that the hijacker's motives were not terror-related, but personal
Image copyright @Karen_Chan
Image caption @Karen_Chan suggested a different way of getting the attention of a loved one

But many social media users were outraged by the online humour.

Image copyright @shellbaker
Image copyright @mybravetweet
Image caption @mybravetweet explained why he was not impressed with the jokes

'There's always a woman involved'

As the situation unfolded, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades responded to a reporter's question about whether the hijacker was motivated by romance. His response, "There is always a woman involved," was quickly lambasted.

Image copyright @MasalaBai
Image caption People got upset over the Cypriot president's comments about women

In another response to president Anastasiades, @ellenmcoyne posted: "That's women, always inciting hostage situations."

By the time the hijacker was arrested, more than six hours later, more than 300,000 tweets had been posted using the hashtag EgyptAir.

Many tweets quoted the Egyptian foreign ministry, which said: "He is not a terrorist he's an idiot. Terrorists are crazy but they are not stupid. This guy is."

Image copyright @Ulteri0rM0tive
Image copyright @Solarholic

Compiled by Rozina Sini