Justine Sacco, the director of corporate communications for the powerful media and Internet company IAC, finds herself being criticized for a tweet she sent out this morning.
“Going to Africa,” it reads. “Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” Here is an image of the tweet in question:
While the name “IAC” may not be familiar, the companies under its aegis certainly are. They include Match.com, About.com, OkCupid, College Humor, BlackPeopleMeet.com and The Daily Beast.
Sacco is aware of the dangers of being a public figure in the new media age her company helped usher in. Earlier this year, she tweeted the following:
“I can’t be fired for things I say while intoxicated right?” she asks in that tweet.
It is unclear what the ramification for her tweet about Africa will be, but she has remained employed by IAC despite having written other tweets that could be considered “insensitive”:
“I had a sex dream about an autistic kid last night,” that tweet reads.
IAC has responded in a statement: “This is an outrageous, offensive comment that does not reflect the views and values of IAC. Unfortunately, the employee in question is unreachable on an international flight, but this is a very serious matter and we are taking appropriate action.”
Update, 12:23 a.m. EST, Dec. 21: After the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet gained traction on Twitter, Sacco reportedly deleted the offending tweet, then her entire account.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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