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Twitter for bad: PR exec apologizes for racist AIDS Tweet after she is fired

By April Neale Dec 22, 2013, 23:01 GMT

Twitter for bad: PR exec apologizes for racist AIDS Tweet after she is fired

Twitter for bad: PR exec apologizes for racist AIDS Tweet after she is fired

Social media is immediate and can make or break you if you're careless.

Ask Justine Sacco, a higher up PR executive who worked for IAC in New York City, and who apologized for a poorly thought out Tweet.

Sacco is based in New York City as the Communications Director for InterActiv Corp (IAC). Sacco apologized Sunday for her "needless and careless tweet" about AIDS in Africa.

In a written statement. Sacco apologized "for being insensitive to this crisis -- which does not discriminate by race, gender or sexual orientation, but which terrifies us all uniformly -- and to the millions of people living with the virus, I am ashamed." She added that she is a native of South Africa and was upset that she had hurt so many people there. "I am very sorry for the pain I caused," she wrote.

Media company IAC fired Sacco after the tweet, which read: "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!"On Friday, right before she took off to South Africa, she tweeted the following:

This insensitive racist tweet caused one of the biggest social media storms in a 24 hour period.  The Twitter feed was a-blaze because Sacco was on a flight and had no idea what was happening to her life. 

On Twitter, the top trending topic on Friday night was #HasJustineLandedYet.

Once she finally landed in South Africa, she found out that not only had she been let go from IAC. but she’d also made it to national news and everyone was talking about her…in a not so good way.

But now Justine Sacco is speaking out and has released the following statement, according to ABC News:

“Words cannot express how sorry I am, and how necessary it is for me to apologize to the people of South Africa, who I have offended due to a needless and careless tweet,” Sacco said in the statement. “There is an AIDS crisis taking place in this country, that we read about in America, but do not live with or face on a continuous basis. Unfortunately, it is terribly easy to be cavalier about an epidemic that one has never witnessed firsthand.

“For being insensitive to this crisis — which does not discriminate by race, gender or sexual orientation, but which terrifies us all uniformly — and to the millions of people living with the virus, I am ashamed…”





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