A PR executive has found her Twitter account deleted after making a comment about AIDS. The tweet, which mentioned how she was going to Africa and hoped that she didn’t get AIDS, spread around the social media website during her 12 hour flight.
Justine Sacco made a joke about being white, so she would not get aids. When it went viral, her employer, InterActiveCorp (IAC) decided to take a step away from her.
Users took to Twitter to demand that she be sacked, but were disappointed when the account was simply deleted and nothing more was said about the matter.
Sacco’s incident makes it clear just how quickly something a person says can be spread on social media. This is not the first time it has happened, with celebrities like Peaches Geldof getting into trouble for their remarks. In July, She’s the Man star, Amanda Bynes, made a series of strange tweets that spread around the site quickly.
Sacco was in a different place to most everyday Twitter users. She communicates with reporters on a regular basis, due to IAC’s chair operating About.com, Match.com and other popular and big-named websites. However, she possibly thought that she would get away with it by only having 500 followers.
The tweet was shared on websites like Buzzfeed while she was in the air, and she landed in Africa with thousands of new followers—and thousands of others replying to her shocking message. Some Twitter users understood that she could not defend herself while in the air, where she had no internet connection, which made it difficult to calm the angry public.
Some users chose to go through previous tweets, which raised some alarm bells, although there was nothing as bad as the most recent one.
IAC recognizes that the tweet was outrageous and offensive, and informed the public that “appropriate action” would be taken. There is still no news over what that action will be.
The Twitter account with the AIDs comment was deleted on Saturday night. There is no confirmation whether Sacco chose to delete it herself, or whether it was action taken by the social media site.
By Alexandria Ingham