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The worst Twitter day of all time

The worst Twitter day of all time

Saturday Night Card Game

Yesterday was the worst Twitter day of all time.

Or at least the worst that I remember.

Some lady no one had ever heard of and who had about 100 followers at the time sent the Tweet above.

The tweet went viral.  Some guy at Gawker is claiming credit for finding it, although a lot of people credit the big viral boost to someone at Buzzfeed who has over 100,000 followers:

https://twitter.com/BuzzFeedAndrew/status/414103011464454145
https://twitter.com/danielwein/status/414103716892250112

Whoever started it, plenty of websites picked up on it and ran with it to feed the mob and not miss out on clicks and eyeballs.

By the time I saw it, long after she became a hunted woman, my first impression was similar to that of John Nolte at Breitbart.com: Looks like the type of “white privilege” claptrap we read almost weekly at Salon.com or Slate.com.  Some liberal white person coming to grips with her privilege and wanting the whole world to know about it.

I wasn’t the only one thinking that was at least a possibility.

Or maybe it was, “just kidding,” a joke that didn’t work.

Racist?  You’d need to know a lot more.  Maybe shoot her a tweet back and ask what she meant, or look her up and send her an email before proclaiming her to be a racist.

But no one could do that.  She was on an airplane to visit her native South Africa.  For 11 hours.  And in those 11 hours she became a hated and hunted woman.

Buzzfeed, ahem, tracked all the gory details of the assault, from start to firing, Internet Erupts After PR Woman For Media Firm Tweets A “Joke” About Getting AIDS In Africa.

It was so big, even the NY Times got in on the coverage: A Twitter Message About AIDS, Followed by a Firing.

For a more critical view of the hatefest, you can read these links:

People tracked her flight, and even showed up at the airport in Johannesburg to photograph her:

https://twitter.com/Zac_R/statuses/414274242222776321

Greg Gutfeld summed it up best:

When she landed she apologized for her own stupidity. She lost her job over it.

Why this woman in this way?

She was an executive, but not a public figure. She wasn’t a politician, or comedian, or actress. Her tweet wasn’t any worse than what one sees every minute on Twitter, not by a long shot.

We all highlight tweets from unknown non-public figures in the midst of some event, like a bombing or uprising. But something about this one was unsettling, targeted, obsessive, seeking to do damage to someone helpless to defend herself or cut short the outrage with a quick apology because she was in flight.

Why did so much of the Twittersphere quickly proclaim her a racist and go after her with such a blood lust?

Because it could.

She should have written it at Salon.com.  No one would have noticed.

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Comments

Not A Member of Any Organized Political | December 21, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Don’t you know?

Justine Sacco is Obama’s Drag Name!

snark snark

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | December 21, 2013 at 10:06 pm

I know I’m going to sound like a gun grabber who blames guns for the bad things that happen when people use them to harm others, but I can’t think of one good thing that’s happened to the world because of twitter.

For example, I want the Iranian regime to fall, but people used twitter to foment hostility toward the Iranian regime and people died when they took to the streets. I’m glad Anthony Weiner is no longer a Congressman, but he destroyed his career because he abused twitter. Hollywood celebrities beclown themselves almost daily which surely costs the film makers revenue at the box office. Ideological twitter mobs form and target sponsors of conservatives like the Duck Dynasty guy, Rush, and others to shut down speech they don’t like. Another twitter mob forced a literary agent to cancel a book deal with a juror on the Zimmerman trial. Other twitter mobs forced CVS and Walgreen to pull the Rolling Stone issue with the Boston bomber off the shelves.

Has anything good happened because of twitter?

    Twitter can be very – very good: Example – You should check out some of the live tweeting that goes on during surgeries – is the best example I have seen. Twitter can be a classroom for medical students interested in the procedure – as the doctor does op, a nurse tweets the action.

    Example 2: we found out a tornado had hit VERY CLOSE to our office last year about 1/2 mile away – before the news had info, twitter had it.

    I used to not understand Twitter, now I love it…

      Not compelling. In the first example, running oral commentary and note taking are far superior, for a list of reasons too long to didcuss here (probably require more than 144 characters). The second example refers to what was once called “gossip.” It’s still gossip.

      The critter at broadandwall, above, has it right.

        DaveyMills2013 in reply to Owego. | December 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm

        Don’t be ridiculous. An eyewitness account of something happening was never considered gossip. You are just trying to shoehorn a good thing about something you dislike into your narrative that it’s all bad.

    phil robertson support.
    chick-fil-a support.
    many other examples.
    people concentrate on the bad so it gets the attn.

“Hey kids, you know what’s a real blast? Seeing a stranger ruin their own lives. Makes our silly little lives seem sooooo much better.”

The practice of grace and compassion are good for us all. Help the person up that trips and falls instead of joining the chorus of laughter.

She gets the boot for this before her plane even lands, yet it took weeks to make Bashir “resign”? Tis a sad, screwed up world we live in. I thought reddit and 4chan were the masters of the internet witchhunt, but clearly the twitterverse has them both beat.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Sozo. | December 22, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I don’t get the tweet or why she gad to be fired. If people deserve to be fired for saying stupid things, then Obama should never have been hired.

This was JUST a bit of over reaction by the twitter-verse – some on Twitchy called in cyber-bullying.

It’s a very flippant and “trying-to-be-funny” tweet – umm about AIDs? What the heck is funny about that?

However, here’s a question: does Justine have free speech? Does Phil Robertson? Catch 22: if you tweet it, you own it.

This was a like a car crash – people can’t look away and want to see the outcome.

For someone who works in “PR”, she sure #DumbTweeted …

… Or maybe its just a slow news day in USA?

Back to making some homemade Christmas presents for family… The peppermint vodka recipe turned out YUM I might add…

cheers from sunny NZ

It does tell me that InterActiveCorp certainly didn’t have her back

    bvw in reply to Neo. | December 22, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Don’t it though! Loyalty in our day seems to be about 100% craven opportunism. Sick company, jake owner.

Now I don’t feel too bad for her, buzzfeed has compiled more of her past atrocious tweets. If those are real, she appears prone to offensive verbal diarrhea, check out:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jenvesp/16-tweets-justine-sacco-regrets-hxg7

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to LisaGinNZ. | December 21, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Just like Obama eh.

    Half-Twit comes to mind……..

    So you’ll kick her while she’s down too, eh?

      I’ll make fun of loud mouth lefties who’s gross words finally catch up to them – eg employer firings – any time. Did you read any of her so-called tweets?

      Remember the guy who berated the girl at Chick filet drive through? He got fired, too…

      Did you feel oh so sorry for him?

      same thing here far as I see

      I’m moving on now, this story is way past its 15 mins

      Juba Doobai! in reply to bvw. | December 22, 2013 at 6:36 pm

      She’s got tweets on UK and Germany. They’re not offensive unless you want to take offense. Folks in Britain do eat cucumber sandwiches and have bad teeth. I don’t know if German guys don’t like to use deodorant. It does seem as though she is classifying countries by the issues of their populace. In that context, it’s not a joke, and she isn’t being racist. She’s just presenting her observations about people and cultures. I have lots of observations to make about where I am, but you don’t sit down on the river bank and bad mouth the river. She shouldn’t have been fired.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to LisaGinNZ. | December 22, 2013 at 8:50 am

    How us she different from a lot of people who say stupid things? The problem with Twitter is that the audience for dumbassery is greatly magnified. Previously, we could be as asinine as we wanted in our own little circle. We’ve lost that right with our use of Twitter. Previously, we were judged by people who know us and who could call us out without loss of occupation. Now, the Twitterverse is not our neighborhood. Instead of a quick slap down, followed by repentance and forgiveness, we have a self-righteous mob, many of whom have worse in their closets, one whose delight us in tearing people down. No forgiveness, just annihilation. I’m sorry for her thinking that she could get away with saying dumb stuff in the Twitterverse.

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Juba Doobai!. | December 22, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      People now have to take very seriously Abraham Lincoln’s advice
      “When in a room full of people who think you are an idiot, it is better to keep your mouth shut then open it and remove all doubt.”

Not A Member of Any Organized Political | December 22, 2013 at 12:16 am

FYI

“…The worst-performing state,…..Oregon, signed up just 44 people despite spending more than $300 million building and promoting its exchange. Meanwhile, just eight states had more than 10,000 residents sign up….Eleven states had fewer than 1,000 signups apiece.

Obamacare ‘death spiral’ scenario is about the states, stupid

http://washingtonexaminer.com/obamacare-death-spiral-scenario-is-about-the-states-stupid/article/2541012

This is so absurd that I suspect that it’s not at all what it seems. An obvious guess at the real motive is that someone realized some time ago that such a habitually misguided motormouth was a very dangerous person to have in the PR department, and were looking for an opportunity to can her. As a protected species, women can be very hard to fire, and an employer sometimes feels it necessary to wait for appropriate cover. So they just took advantage of this non-event when it fell into their laps … Just a hypothesis.

Sorry, I have no compassion for non-conservatives who get screwed by the PC culture.

Whether she is a liberal Democrat or not, if she’s not a conservative the odds are she has fostered and promoted the idiotic PC culture which afflicts all discourse today.

The more liberals, moderates, and non-political figures who get fired for this stupidity, the sooner it will run its course. And the sooner, the better.

So long as the Professional Association of the Perpetually Offended, including the likes of GLADD and Al Sharpton, have any significant input on public discourse, it will be inferior to a freer model.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to Estragon. | December 22, 2013 at 9:46 am

    good point, but I’m not assuming the sharia like law of the PC religion will “run its course”. It seems to only be expanding since “The Naked Communist” sixty years ago, described the tactics of the left’s plan to dismantle America. (break sexual norms, tear apart the family, weaken the church, etc.)

    Obama came to power as the Messiah of the divisive cult, which has grown into a religion, and become as accepted as Catholicism, or maybe more so in western civilization. Lois Lerner, Holder, and thousands of ordained deacons work in government under the Ministry of Peace, where torture of the infidel tea party devils is ordained as righteous.

    So far there has is little push back to the PC religion (at least institutionally or on the corporate level), and the Iron Maiden Lerner has received no punishment for her torturous ways. If anything, the left is becoming MORE aggressive in their abuse of power, as our western world is systematically destroyed.

    It could be the grand American experiment of self reliance and freedom is running its course, and we are obeying the laws of social entropy and returning to the chaos of raw power.

    SmokeVanThorn in reply to Estragon. | December 22, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    I have to agree, Same reason I don’t feel bad for Paula Dean, who supported the Race Hustler in Chief.

I started becoming active in twitter a few months ago, thinking I could help to advance conservative ideas through this new modality.

After having observed nothing more or less than a virtual Lord of the Flies for all this time, I’m hereby hanging up my twitter moniker and moving on. From what I’ve seen, Twitter’s all about tagging and burning the latest witch, both on the Left and Right.I really don’t want to be associated with that.

Honestly… it makes me worry for my soul, to be sucked into that. No more.

Meanwhile, the same night, not a peep about Steve Martin’s questionable tweet.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bb-EZtmCQAA6TN5.jpg

    Weirddave in reply to Hanahan. | December 22, 2013 at 11:19 am

    No, he’s gotten all kind of shit for it, but I don’t really understand why. A large portion of the black community prides itself on finding unique names for it’s children. Acknowledging that is racist now? How? The purpose of unique names is to stand out, to be noticed and celebrated. Martin noticed. Q: Should I climb this tree? A: It depends on if you’re in Sherwood Forest or a Japanese banzai garden. Is that racist against Japanese?

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Hanahan. | December 22, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    What’s so questionable about Steve Martin’s tweet? It’s a legitimate question and not even an attempt at humor. Why should he be getting grief over it?

What are the words and terms to describe what the evil wave of misbegotten human impulse that battered a helpless woman was?

A feral mob attack?
Knockout game via Twiter?
A lynching?
An Auto De Fe?
The modern PC burning of witch at the stake of Twitter?

All of those and more. It was base, ugly, hateful … wrong at every level.

Also forget not that it happened coincident with the blacklisting of Father Duck Hunter for speaking out in an upscale limited-circ Men’s magazine against homsexuality, and the miserable arrogant tyrannical dicta of Federal Judges in very conservative Utah, force feeding sexual debasement into law.

Was she planning on going to South Africa for an orgy? With her pic as accompaniment to her tweet, why announce she’s “white”? Whites don’t get AIDS?

Very confusing tweet. It’s like a jennyass announcing her jennyassitude. Strange.

And all just the week before “So this is Christmas / And what have you done? / Another year over / And a new one just begun / And so this is Christmas / I hope you have fun.”

What fun the twittering class had!

She would have gotten the same treatment if she had said, “Just kidding, I’m straight.”

Maybe worse.

“The theory that the U.S. government created the AIDS virus to kill African-Americans is taken very seriously by some in the black community. The belief is fed by some African-American books, magazines, and newspapers.

The Minister of Health for Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam has called for a congressional investigation.

… A survey of about 1,000 black church members found 35 percent believed the AIDS conspiracy theory and another 30 percent would not rule it out.”

http://www.cnn.com/US/9511/aids_conspiracy/index.html

That’s from 1995, but I’m only guessing she was “joking” about something like that. Time listed as one of the top ten enduring conspiracy theories of all time: “the deadly virus was created by the CIA to wipe out homosexuals and African Americans.”
http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,1860871,00.html

This woman was in public relations, and perhaps had become a little rancored at constantly comporting her messaging to the ignorance of the masses, the same masses whom her little tweet was not intended.

Yet another really good reason never to use Twitter. The fact that the dim-witted Wolf Blitzer seems enslaved to Twitter should tell us all we really need to know about the usefulness of the service. For idiots only!

The key to remember here is that the mob destroyed this woman while admittedly not even understanding what she was trying to say.

And the kicker is that of all the things she likely meant, making a demeaning racist comment was by far the least probable.

    bravo6 in reply to Voluble. | December 22, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Twitter does not allow for context – communication is all about context. No context, no communication. From what she said I have no idea what she meant. All that drew conclusions from her statement drew them from their own understanding of life. Their statements tell us more about their life than hers.

First of all, it was a joke. On her personal twitter account.

Second of all, those that say it was “racist” chose to think it was racist. Thought crime.

Personally, I think she was mocking “conservatives”. I suspect in her world view conservatives are ignorant, reject science,and are racist, and made a funny. I don’t know. Nobody does. Yet, she’s fired!

I reject the notion that somehow she deserved it–made he own by by being a liberal–. She’s still a human being.

Those that celebrate guillotine justice tend to find their own heads in a sling in short order.

MouseTheLuckyDog | December 22, 2013 at 2:47 pm

OK. I’m not defending her, but firing her as she got off the plane is cold.

I hope they paid her way back.

This is just unbelievable. What could have possessed this woman to tweet that?

I’ve said things from time to time that I wouldn’t want, for example, my boss to hear. These comments were made to friends whom I trust not to repeat them, because they know I would beat then half to death if they did.

So I will never ever use Twitter, or Facebook, or post my real name on any online forum. I’m not going to have my life destroyed for making either a stupid or a politically incorrect comment.

In a way this might be beneficial.

For too long there have been unseen and unknown bureaucrats working in the background that have made many a citizens life a living hell. Through ignorance, stupidity, stubbornness or just plain being mean, many situations that could have been resolved were not because of some smug jackass in a back cubicle somewhere deciding to exercise their little bit of power over someone else’s life.

I’m not saying this lady deserved what happened (although she should have been more aware of the medium she was using and she worked for some very liberal and progressive places that probably still think Obamacare is working) or that she ever did anything to anyone to deserve this.

But maybe, just maybe this might make some anonymous gov’t worker stop to think how the actions of a few can blow someone else’s life into smithereens and with zero consequences for those who did so.

Maybe they’ll be a little more cautious about their snark and snided ways in the future.

But probably not.

I’ve always thought that if you’re going to jump out the window, at least do it from an upper storey. Go out in a blaze. No use getting canned for a subtle dig that would be understood by only one, wrong person. Be a five-star idiot. Ya only live once!

Actually I’m trying to understand the joke she claimed she was trying to make. Obviously you can’t get AIDS just from traveling to Africa.

The inference from her tweet is that maybe she planned to have sexual relations with (black) African men, who might themselves be infected with HIV, perhaps? But, if so, just because she’s a white woman, wouldn’t prevent her from having sex with (black) African men, and wouldn’t prevent her from exposure to HIV.

The problem here is that I can’t figure out what the joke actually is supposed to be in the first place.

Is it that simply by travelling to Africa, one can become Hiv positive–UNLESS one happens to be white?

I don’t get it.

Maybe if the joke actually was a joke it would be more understandable.

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