Wednesday 13 December 2017

Katy Perry's MH17 Twitter blunder: UNICEF reassures families singer's tweet is not true

Singer Katy Perry
Singer Katy Perry

Jenn Selby

Katy Perry is the most followed person on Twitter.

As a result, her posts reach more people than any other account on the social media site. So accuracy, when it comes to tweeting about current affairs and tragedies – not unlike the Malaysian Airlines MH17 plane that crashed on the Russia-Ukraine border killing 298 – is key.

And it was accuracy that was sadly lacking from the 29-year-old pop singer’s sorrowful post about the disaster.

Perry, who was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador last year, gave her condolences to the families who have lost love ones in the tragedy. Including to “100 UNICEF volunteers”.

"So INCREDIBLY sad to hear that there were 100 volunteers for @UNICEF on flight #MH17 Sending our prayers to all the families effected [sic]," the star wrote.

Except there were no UNICEF volunteers on board flight MH17. There were, however, a number of staff and researchers heading to the International AIDS conference in Melbourne, some of whom were members of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

This included leading HIV researchers Joep Lange, Dr Lucie van Mens, Martine de Schutter of AIDS Action Europe, Pim de Kuijer and Jacqueline van Tongeren, all of whom are believed to have been on MH17.

However a spokesperson from UNICEF – a charity who promote child welfare – has since been called to clarify that there were no UNICEF staff on board the doomed flight.

“We do have global UNICEF staff and volunteers at the conference, including four UNICEF Australia Young Ambassadors,” they confirmed to

They added that they were confused as to how Perry, who they labelled a “fabulous ambassador” for the charity, had arrived at that understanding but said her tweet had been incorrect.

“We are pleased to report there were no UNICEF staff on-board,” they added.

“UNICEF has expressed its deepest condolences for our UN colleagues, and all who died on flight MH17.

“Our sympathies go to their families.”


Online Editors

Promoted Links

Style Newsletter

Stay on top of the latest fashion, beauty and celeb gossip in our Style newsletter.

Promoted Links

Also in this section