Justine Sacco's AIDS Tweet Controversy
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On December 20th, 2013, at 10:19 a.m., InterActiveCorp (IAC) PR executive Justine Sacco tweeted an insensitive joke about AIDS shortly before boarding her flight from London, UK to Cape May, South Africa.
Throughout the day, the tweet quickly spread beyond her network of hundreds of followers, leading to news articles on Valleywag, BuzzFeed, Cheezburger, The Daily Dot, CNN and International Business Times, among many others. Within the first 36 hours, Sacco's tweet received nearly 51,000 replies and led to the creation of several fake Twitter account. In addition, JustineSacco.com was registered as a mirror domain to the HIV/AIDS charity Aid For Africa website.
That evening, IAC issued a statement denouncing her tweet as an "outrageous, offensive comment that does not reflect the views and values of IAC" and relieved her from the executive position.
Meanwhile, many spectators on Twitter began anticipating Sacco's reaction as her approximately 11-hour long flight came to an end, which resulted in the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet to trend globally for hours, with more than 98,000 mentions, according to Topsy analytics. By 11:55 p.m., Justine had deleted her account.
 Twitter – @JustineSacco (unavailable)
 Valleywag – And Now a Funny Joke from IAC's PR Boss
 BuzzFeed – Internet Erupts After PR Woman For Media Firm Tweets A “Joke” About Getting AIDS In Africa
 Cheezburger – Five Things You Need To Know About Justine Sacco's Twitter Fail
 Twitter – Search results for #HasJustineLandedYet
 LA Times – PR executive Justine Sacco fired after insensitive tweet goes global
 The Daily Dot – Twitter mob greets Justine Sacco in Africa after racist tweet
 AdWeek – IAC's PR Chief Apparently Tweeted a Bizarrely Tasteless Joke About AIDS and Africa
 CNN – Company parts ways with PR exec after AIDS in Africa tweet
 International Business Times – Justine Sacco Twitter Revolt: Fierce Blowback After AIDS-Africa Tweet Sent From IAC Exec’s Account
 Topsy – Social analytics for #HasJustineLandedYet
 JustineSacco.com (via Wayback Machine) – Not Associated with AIDS For Africa, But You Should Be
 Twitter – @LolJustineSacco's Tweets (suspended)
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