The Justine Sacco Story: How A PR Exec. Caused Her Own Bad Publicity!

The Justine Sacco Story: How A PR Exec. Caused Her Own Bad Publicity!

A Life Lesson On Why You Should “Think Before You Tweet.”
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Imagine this scenario, you are flying from New York to South Africa in order to visit your family. It is December 20th, 2013 and you have landed in London for a layover. Right before you board, you have decided to tweet a funny joke to your 170 followers. Before the flight takes off, you see no new notifications. After 11 hours in the air, you have finally landed. Once you have turned your phone back on, you have discovered that you are the #1 trending topic on Twitter, worldwide. Also, fired from your Senior Director of Corporate Communications job at InterActive Corporation. If you are Justine Sacco, this is your story.

Justine Sacco’s original tweet, which has since been deleted.

Before the Twitterstorm, Justine Sacco was a PR executive for InterActive Corporation (IAC). Her job involved helping major companies, like College Humor and Match.com, with public reactions work. She was only 30 years old and had one of the greatest jobs of all time. While she worked in New York, her father was living in South Africa. Justine decided to visit her family during the holiday season. Sacco has made questionable tweets before, but none of them has landed her in trouble before. Some include “I had a sex dream about an autistic kid last night. #fml” and “I can’t be fired for things I say while intoxicated right?”

One of Justine Sacco’s followers was finally shocked to see the offensive tweet. The follower sent the tweet to a Gawker journalist with 15,000 followers. The journalist, Sam Biddle, retweeted the offensive comment. Thus, a Twitterstorm was born. Buzzfeed first shared the tweet to millions of people. Soon, The NYTimes, Daily Mail, ABCNews, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Washington Post, and more were writing about the story.

During the Twitterstorm, when people Googled her name, British Airways Flight 43’s flight tracker appeared. This was the exact flight that Justine Sacco was on. Many people were tracking Justine’s arrival time. Since Justine had an 11-hour flight with no wifi, people knew she did not realize the fiasco she created. The people of Twitter were anxiously waiting to see what Justine would do after her realization that her racist tweet went viral. Because of the long wait, people began tweeting #HasJustineLandedYet, which was the exact hashtag that trended number one, worldwide.

A map showing where Justine’s tweet became the most viral.

The people of South Africa began boycotting Justine’s arrival. Many people wanted Justine to be sent on a flight back home. Others were tweeting InterActive Corp. to fire Justine. Others were trying to spread awareness to the issue of AIDs. Most people were tweeting to Justine about her ignorance on the issue. Justine is the white woman in the header. What is most upsetting about her tweet, is how she knows how lucky she is to be white. While AIDs can affect many kinds of people, it mostly affects people in Africa. Instead of Justine realizing how lucky she is to be a white woman in America, she mocks those who are less fortunate than her. This is why her tweet went viral, people were upset about how ungrateful she was to be living an AIDs free life.

Once Justine Sacco landed and discovered everything, she did not issue an apology. Instead, she began to delete her Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts. Days later, she finally apologized but it was too late to say sorry for her racist tweet.

Justine Sacco explained herself years later to the journalist. In his book, So You've Been Publicly Shamed, Ronson shares what Justine meant with her tweet. She explained to Jon Ronson, “Living in America puts us in a bit of a bubble when it comes to what is going on in the Third World. I was making fun of that bubble.” If this was true, that does not explain her previous racist tweets that are down below. Her previous racist tweets do not “make fun of that bubble” in any way.

Other racist tweets that Justine tweeted the night before her AIDs tweet.

An African man named Zac was at the airport where Justine Sacco landed. He was able to find her father and explain the tweet to him. Justine’s father explained that Justine was born in South Africa, but in 1994, he moved the family to New York so that they would not witness the racism at the time. South Africa's apartheid regime ended in 1994, but there was still a major issue of white Africans murdering black Africans for superiority. Justine’s father told Zac that he disapproved of Justine’s tweet and called her an “idiot.” You can see Zac’s tweets below.

Zac’s tweets about Justine’s father’s comments.

Justine Sacco’s company said “This is an outrageous, offensive comment. The employee in question currently unreachable on an into flight.” IAC then revealed to firing her during her flight to Africa. Other major companies and celebrities began tweeting about Justine’s racist tweet. Gogo is an airline that provides wireless internet access. Gogo’s tweet became very popular during the Twitterstorm. Also, Donald Trump (not president at the time) made a “You’re Fired” joke about her. Also, Kerry Washington and Steve Martin made their own jokes on Justine’s tweet.

One of the greatest things to come out of this racist tweet was donations. That night, in disgust of Justine Sacco’s racist tweet, people began to donate to organizations like Care Org., ONE Campaign, and Aid for Africa. These organizations help victims of AIDs in Africa. Aid for Africa even bought the url “www.justinesacco.com” to help create PR for their charity.

The website for “www.justinesacco.com” where you can donate to help victims of AIDs in Africa.

More stories here:

Gilbert Gottfried Fired

Adria Richards Fired

Miley Cyrus gets Brother Fired

Cover Image Credit: Justine Sacco

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I'm An 18-Year-Old Female And I Will Never Be A Feminist

Honestly, I'd rather be caught dead than caught calling myself a modern-day feminist.
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"A man told me to have a good day... I'm triggered." How ludicrous does that sound? Tune in because that is the extent of modern day feminism.

Sure, I think boys are stupid and that I'm probably better than 90% of the male population, but that doesn't make me a modern-day feminist. Now I believe that woman should stand up for themselves, and Golding's quote: "I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been," is by far one of my favorite quotes... but modern day feminism is not something I want to be associated with.

I'm all for "anything you can do I can do better," and "We can do it!" but realistically speaking in some situations, that isn't feasible. As an 18-year-old woman who works out regularly, and is stronger than the average female, I couldn't carry a 190-pound man back to a safe zone after he was shot on the front line of a war even if I tried. It is not anatomically possible for a grown woman to be as strong as a fully developed male.

Reality check: Men and women are not equal.

They are not physically equal, they are not mentally equal. Modern-day feminism is equality between the two genders, but corrupt and on steroids. I support what feminism used to be. I support women who work hard and have goals and ambition... not girls who hate men and stomp around with no shirts on to piss off the public. Feminism has developed into a polluted teaching that young men and women are plunging into.

We are built dissimilarly.

The human brain is literally an organ that is sex oriented. There is a cognitive difference, that singlehandedly destroys gender equality.

I will not spend my time running a revolution against anyone who likes Donald Trump. I am not going to binge watch Trump's twitter in an effort to start some leftist gob of drama. I refuse to be part of this head hunt to attack all Republicans on the newest Instagram post made about how feminism is stupid. I do not hate men, and society would crash and burn without the successful men and women who work together to create what we call the United States of America.

Why, you ask? Why are the 15-25 year olds of our society clinging to feminism? They are hopping on the rapidly growing bandwagon where all the hipsters, feminists and Trump haters reside. It's "cool" to hate Donald Trump. Twitter is a world of liberalism, hatred and fake love towards all. Social media is where this generation is living — and modern-day feminism brews there.

We need to keep separation in the household within roles.

We must raise our children to do what they are best at rather than trying to do something they are incapable of just to prove an irrelevant point.

Women must stand up for what they believe in and be strong in their shoes, while not getting so caught up in what your modern day feminist says she thinks is right.

We cannot let this briskly changing society sway us away from what is going to keep the world working precisely.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Joe Mullins

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Study Political Science In College And Be The Change We Need

I realized if I ever wanted to see any kind of change in the world that I would have to be a part of the change.

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When I was a kid, I never had any interest whatsoever in politics. I mean, how many kids do? You always hear people say that they've known what they wanted to be since they were in elementary school and I have never related to that statement. The older I got, the more interested I became in current events, but I had never really considered making it part of a profession.

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"First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."

I realized if I ever wanted to see any kind of change in the world that I would have to be apart of the change. And the most significant part of making a change is being educated on the facts that surround the problem.

Even though I can't tell you for certain that one day I will work in politics and you'll see me making huge strides for America, I can say that the option will always be there for me to decide because I have the knowledge and understanding that it takes. Even if I never make a huge difference- at least I will know the truth and will always be able to back up my beliefs with the facts.

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