Public relations executive, Justine Sacco, is one recent example of not thinking before sharing. On December 20, 2013 just before boarding an international flight to South Africa, Sacco sent out the tweet below:
|Caption: Going to
Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!|
Twitter was not impressed.
The tweet was retweeted thousands of times and while Sacco was in flight, the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet became a trending topic. Though Sacco subsequently deleted the tweet along with her Twitter account, was fired from her position with IAC, and apologized, the damage was done. The first results for “Justine Sacco,” when typed into Google, brings up the Twitter debacle. As a public relations executive, you would think Sacco would know better. Social media has the power to challenge and transform. It also has the power to destroy a career in less than 140 characters. We all have a responsibility to not use social media for harm. Whether we are professional communicators or just regular people it is imperative that we think before we tweet.
References:Dimitrova, K. (2013, December 22). Justine Sacco, fired after tweet on AIDS in Africa, issues
apology - ABC News. Retrieved September 27, 2014, from http://abcnews.go.com
Google Images.Retrieved from http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2013/12
Obeidallah, D. (2013, December 22). Justine Sacco case shows how Twitter can kill your career -
CNN.com. Retrieved September 28, 2014, from http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/05/opinion
Twitter. (2013, December). Twitter / Search - #HasJustineLandedYet. Retrieved from