So, What Happened To The PR Exec Who Tweeted White People Can’t Get AIDS?

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Using Twitter can sometimes get you in a heap of trouble…if you are a caricature of a ding-bat…

The New Civil Rights Movement

Justine Sacco sent a horrific tweet from London just before boarding a plane to Cape Town, South Africa yesterday. By the time her flight was over, so was her career. Yes, Justine Sacco has been sacked.

Sacco, at the time the head of Public Relations for IAC, one of the world’s largest internet companies, tweeted:

“Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”

IAC is home to major corporations, including, Vimeo, HomeAdvisor,, the Daily Beast, OK Cupid, UrbanSpoon,, and  dozens of others.

Sacco even described herself as a “troublemaker on the side” in her own Twitter bio — an account that has since been deleted.

Justine Sacco (JustineSacco) on Twitter-1


Once her tweet was seen by some of the internet’s most powerful, like Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, it was only a matter of minutes for it to literally be seen around the world.

Sacco’s name was quickly scrubbed from her employer’s website, even before her plane landed. An cached copy of the page from September clearly shows her name used to appear on that page.

In a statement to The New Civil Rights Movement, IAC this afternoon wrote:

The offensive comment does not reflect the views and values of IAC. We take this issue very seriously, and we have parted ways with the employee in question.

There is no excuse for the hateful statements that have been made and we condemn them unequivocally. We hope, however, that time and action, and the forgiving human spirit, will not result in the wholesale condemnation of an individual who we have otherwise known to be a decent person at core.

One enterprising individual in Cape Town who goes by the name of @Zac_R on Twitter, decided to actually meet Sacco when she landed. He even spoke with her father, whom he says reminds him “of the many (often racist) South Africans I met while living in Australia, who couldn’t embrace change.”

Here are a few more insightful tweets he sent last night:



And indeed, has been registered to Aid for Africa, “a unique partnership of some 85 select charities, all dedicated to solving the complex, inter-related challenges facing Sub Saharan Africa.”

So, at least something good has come of what was deemed the worst tweet of all time.


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