Sunday, September 28, 2014

Blog Group 1: Blog Post 3-Not Every Thought Needs to be Shared

           It's 2014 and if you are not active on some social media platform you might as well not exist. Social media is a major part of our everyday lives. It's how we share news, updates about our lives, and connect with strangers who become friends. One of the most overused sayings in today’s lexicon is “The Internet is forever.” However, no matter how cliché and overused it is, the fact remains, it very true. Once information is out on the Internet, there it remains forever. FOREVER. Even after the original content has been deleted chances are it was shared, retweeted, or blogged about a hundred times over. Dean Obeidallah (2013) of CNN puts it succinctly “Sure, there's a delete button on Twitter, but once it's out there, simply put: You're screwed.
            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.

Dimitrova, K. (2013, December 22). Justine Sacco, fired after tweet on AIDS in Africa, issues 
                apology - ABC News. Retrieved September 27, 2014, from 
Google Images.Retrieved from

Obeidallah, D. (2013, December 22). Justine Sacco case shows how Twitter can kill your career - 
      Retrieved September 28, 2014, from
Twitter. (2013, December). Twitter / Search - #HasJustineLandedYet. Retrieved from 

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