New York – Justine Sacco, who was IAC’s corporate communications director created intense backlash from the internet crowd as well as from people who was able to read her tweet saying, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”
The public relations executive earned a lot of online hate when she posted a message on her Twitter account making jokes about AIDS in Africa. She eventually apologized, stating that she was felt guilty and ashamed after giving out the comment. She issued a public apology statement for her actions and sent it to ABC News as well as to a South Africa’s newspaper, The Star.
Justine Sacco was reportedly fired from the famous New York Web-based media company, InterActive Corporation or IAC right after her tweet created a lot of buzz and hatred from the netizens especially on a couple of social media platforms where her tweet were shared and reposted several times and spread amongst lot of people. It was able to circulate beyond her relatively small number of twitter friends (around 500 followers) and was able to reach thousands of users criticizing her comment as not sensitive to the state of Africa and racist in general prompting them to call the attention of her company.
In Justine Sacco’s apology statement, it said that no words can express how really sorry she was and how it was indeed necessary for her to apologize to the South African people whom she had offended gravely due to her careless and needless tweet.