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Justine Sacco, Internet Justice, and the Dangers of a Righteous Mob

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the everyone-loves-a-loser dept.

Businesses 399

An anonymous reader writes "So what exactly was the injustice that everyone was fighting against here? There were no pro-Sacco factions, nobody thought her comment was funny, and it became clear early on that her employers were not going to put up with this. It was quite easy for groups to unite against her precisely because it was such an obviously idiotic comment to make. By the time Valleywag had posted her tweet, the damage to her career was already done; there wasn't any 'need' for further action by anyone. The answer is a bit darker – this wasn't really about fairness, it was about entertainment."

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399 comments

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Or maybe... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45768695)

...maybe it was just a really spec-FUCKING-tacular way to quit a job.

Re:Or maybe... (4, Funny)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 9 months ago | (#45768743)

And never get another one again. Unless it's PR spokesperson for the KKK.

Re:Or maybe... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45768929)

Her father is a South African billionaire, so I think she'll be okay.

Re:Or maybe... (3, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 9 months ago | (#45769087)

PR person makes racist joke on social media? That isn't job job ending. That is a career ending move.

Fantastic summary! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45768727)

Wow, I feel like I understand the issue so well now! Thanks, samzenpus!

Why so much butthurt? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45768731)

Was anyone actually offended by her remark?
Or do people just like being outraged?

Re:Why so much butthurt? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45768781)

This comment offends me.

Re:Why so much butthurt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769187)

I am outraged you are offended by that!

Re:Why so much butthurt? (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#45768837)

That's the funny thing. I haven't read very many comments from South Africans, or Africans in general, demonstrating their anger. The majority of the "outrage" seems to be coming from Europeans and North Americans.

I hesitate to call what has happened "entertainment". It was more of a good old' fashioned mob, but "on a computer". People get a rush out of being outraged and being part of a communal attack on an errant individual or group. They can wip themselves up into a vast moral outrage, feel very superior to the person in question (even if the likelihood is fairly high that they've said the same or worse) and eak out some vicarious revenge that they can use to pump up their ego.

Re:Why so much butthurt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45768867)

I haven't read very many comments from South Africans, or Africans in general, demonstrating their anger

Do you speak Afrikaans, Xhosa or any of the many other languages common in the region?

Re:Why so much butthurt? (1, Insightful)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 9 months ago | (#45769005)

That's the funny thing. I haven't read very many comments from South Africans, or Africans in general, demonstrating their anger. The majority of the "outrage" seems to be coming from Europeans and North Americans.

Which African news sources have you been following? Clearly you must be following more of them than news sources in North America and Europe, since you've made a comprehensive enough survey to be able to say where the majority of the outrage (or as you put it, "outrage" in sneering quotation marks) is coming from.

I hesitate to call what has happened "entertainment". It was more of a good old' fashioned mob, but "on a computer". People get a rush out of being outraged and being part of a communal attack on an errant individual or group.

So only the victims of racism should be offended by racism? We in the west had no business being offended by Apartheid in South Africa? Only Syrians should be offended by what their government is doing to them? Only black people should be offended by the treatment of blacks in America? Only Indians should be offended by the racist remarks that appear on /. every time their country is mentioned? Only children should be offended by child abuse? Only women should be offended when a woman gets raped?

They can wip (sic) themselves up into a vast moral outrage, feel very superior to the person in question (even if the likelihood is fairly high that they've said the same or worse) and eak out some vicarious revenge that they can use to pump up their ego.

And...? What's wrong with feeling superior to a racist? You say that like it's a bad thing. I think it's a good thing.

(even if the likelihood is fairly high that they've said the same or worse)

Projecting, much? Can't say I've ever cracked a racist joke about catching AIDS in Africa. I've never said the same or worse. The likelihood of saying the same or worse is pretty low for most normal people. Maybe not for you, but it is for me. But then I'm not the one defending racism here.

Funny how quickly the defenders of racism come out of the woodwork. A bit more subtle than the pointy white hoods it it's still with us, as your post demonstrates.

Re:Why so much butthurt? (-1, Offtopic)

Dracolytch (714699) | about 9 months ago | (#45769171)

Goddamnit, no mod points. Thankfully, based on what I'm reading, whatever real-world karma there is will work in your favor. Thank you, and have a wonderful holiday season.

Re:Why so much butthurt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769199)

But then I'm not the one defending racism

That's quite a convenient outlook on things. Much like people who oppose censorship are defending child rapists and such. Problem is... you'd better be a mind read if you want to declare what someone else's opinions are.

Re:Why so much butthurt? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769321)

Somebody made a tasteless joke, let's all pile on to show how not-racist we are! Anyone who doesn't want to see this person purged North Korea style is a racist!

Re:Why so much butthurt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769333)

No, they're getting buthurt because they're offended by what really ends up being, well, a pretty accurate reflection of rape in SA.

Heat map = population map (1, Insightful)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 9 months ago | (#45769369)

Considering that majority of the people who have read or re-tweeted the post are from Europe or North America it would follow that the majority of outrage would also come from Europe or North America.

Re:Why so much butthurt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45768855)

That's probably it exactly. It would be pretty hard to actually be offended since the remark was so obviously born from idiocy. I mean does she really think that white people don't get aids? Or that white people don't get aids from unprotected sex (or needles) with infected people? Crazy right? Yes, parts of Africa have really high infection rates. I've been to both South Africa and Angola - they have signs all over the place asking people to use condoms and have free ones available in many of the bathrooms. But what would that have to do with being white? I've no idea; probably nobody else does either. It is hard to be offended by an idiot. Honestly, when you know someone is stupid or misinformed, do you really care what that person thinks of you? Not me. People whose opinion I respect - sure. But idiots? Nope. Not one bit.

Re:Why so much butthurt? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769001)

I think it's pretty obvious that she not so misinformed that she thinks white people are immune to aids. That was the joke. She basically was saying, "isn't it funny to imagine a person that thought white people can't get aids."

Re:Why so much butthurt? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45768885)

Humans get a dopamine boostfrom being outraged and feeling morally superior. For some people, it's practically the only thing going for them in their lives. Twitter and Tumblr is like crack to these people. They have a name, Social Justice Warriors, because you know, real justice doesn't cut it. See also Professional Victims and White Knights.

Re:Why so much butthurt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45768915)

"...Twitter and Tumblr is like crack to these people..."

And slashdot, reddit, 4chan, etc

Re:Why so much butthurt? (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 9 months ago | (#45769007)

People like being outraged when they are insulated from others. It's a typical, "Mee too ZOMG!" online reaction.

So what's the point of TFA/TFS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45768773)

That if you tweet (blog, comment on TV etc) something incredibly stupid under your professional name, you might find that your tweet went viral?

The author has a couple of good points. (3, Interesting)

wcrowe (94389) | about 9 months ago | (#45768779)

The author makes a valid point when he says that there is no evidence that her account was hacked, but what if it were. Indeed. What if your account gets hacked, or someone sets up an account pretending to be you, and then they post something provacative or outrageous. A lot of damage can be done before you even have a chance to respond.

Re:The author has a couple of good points. (2)

scream at the sky (989144) | about 9 months ago | (#45768853)

The little bit that I have read says that this isn't the first time she's made racially motivated comments.

Just like no one would blink if someone hacked this account and posted sarcastic remarks about, well, anything.

Ummm... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 9 months ago | (#45768785)

Was there ever some kind of doubt that this was about watching somebody fuck up and then get hounded mercilessly? Anybody?

People get off on blood sports and mob violence, this is the mostly-legal and really easy flavor.

Re:Ummm... (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 9 months ago | (#45769117)

People get off on blood sports and mob violence, this is the mostly-legal and really easy flavor.

Yeah. I'm always a little disappointed when someone doesn't break out the caps lock too. -_- You know shit got real then. On a different note, I don't think a single tweet is a reason to end someone's prospects at doing more than "Would you like fries with that?" no matter how offensive it was.

But on the internet, lives are created and destroyed every day in radically disproportionate ways; This is one of the big problems with our culture eliminating privacy; It makes every mistake you make a lifelong one. Posting a tweet can now carry a level of personal responsibility similar to having unprotected sex and getting pregnant.

Fair? No. But nobody seems to much care that it's happening until they're the ones under the bus.

Re:Ummm... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 9 months ago | (#45769197)

Your jurisdiction may vary; but getting rid of an unwanted tweet is probably substantially harder than getting rid of an unwanted fetus....

Seriously? (2)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about 9 months ago | (#45768801)

This is really a ./ post? Really? This isn't an issue of someone tweeting stupidity and being harassed by people who are just like her? What a waste of energy.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769023)

I don't see anything wrong with the comment. It states the facts as they are and makes a reasonable inductive argument from it.

Context? (5, Insightful)

YuppieScum (1096) | about 9 months ago | (#45768809)

Is it really too much to ask for the "summary" to actually provide even the tiniest morsel of context?

 

Re:Context? (1)

twocows (1216842) | about 9 months ago | (#45768851)

Yes. [fybertech.com]

Re:Context? (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 9 months ago | (#45768893)

The title pretty much sums it up. Justine Sacco made a (stupid, racist) comment that nobody found funny, and she had Internet Justice dispensed upon her in the form of a dangerous, righteous mob.

Re:Context? (5, Insightful)

twocows (1216842) | about 9 months ago | (#45768947)

Who is Justine Sacco and why should I care? My 70 year old Dad makes stupid, racist comments all the time (love him anyway, but man, some old people). I think he has even had a few internet mobs after him because he kept posting stupid, racist things to a primarily left-leaning internet forum for the better part of five years.

I understand that I could Google this or read the article, but the point is that the summary should offer some context for people unfamiliar with whatever this story is about, and it utterly fails to do that. It's a mess, the editor didn't do his job at all here.

Re:Context? (5, Informative)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | about 9 months ago | (#45769039)

Justine Sacco was a PR executive at IAC. IAC being the owner of sites like Ask.com, About, Vimeo, OkCupid, match.com, etc.

A PR exec should know that you should not say these things on a global soapbox like twitter.

Re:Context? (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 9 months ago | (#45769055)

What specifically was rac_ist_ about her comment? Racial, sure. Racist? How so?

What kind of summary is this? (2)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about 9 months ago | (#45768811)

This might be the worst "summary" I've ever seen on slashdot.

Re:What kind of summary is this? (4, Funny)

fisted (2295862) | about 9 months ago | (#45768829)

Well it's a UDP summary.

Re:What kind of summary is this? (4, Informative)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 9 months ago | (#45768843)

Seriously, I read /. regularly, and I have no clue what the hell is going on here from the summary alone. As in, not even a slight clue as to what the problem was originally. Sure, you can post some analysis, but sum up what happened up to this point for people who really haven't heard the original story.

Re:What kind of summary is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769047)

I had already read an article about this very situation, and even I had no idea what the hell the "summary" was talking about.

Prime candidate for the worst Slashdot summary in the history of the site.

Re:What kind of summary is this? (1)

kaizendojo (956951) | about 9 months ago | (#45769253)

MOD +1 If you're going to copy and paste, at least take a look at context.

yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45768817)

This is why it is foolish to use your real name on the 'Net except when formally publishing something you want referenced from your CV.

How did a bozo like that get an executive PR gig? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45768847)

Companies need to stop coddling rich morons from overpriced schools and instead hire talented working class people who can actually get the job done.

Another Case of Poe's Law? (5, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 9 months ago | (#45768865)

For those who didn't RTFA, her tweet said:

"Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!"

I thought it was intended to be darkly ironic, reflecting an awareness of the privileges that the poor in africa don't have. It was an ugly truth, but censoring her for saying it doesn't help anyone except people who would rather pretend that aids in africa isn't a problem that lines up with race and economic status. She wasn't saying that aids is a disease for black people, she was saying that too many black people don't have access to the resources to protect themselves.

Compare this to the Duck Dynasty thing where the guy really had no sense of irony, the surface meaning of his words was the intended meaning.

Re:Another Case of Poe's Law? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45768985)

Do you know her personally or true intent?

While that case could be made, after looking at some of her other tweets, that are just as offensive, I am not so sure if her works meant anything other than what was intended.

Re:Another Case of Poe's Law? (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 9 months ago | (#45769045)

While that case could be made, after looking at some of her other tweets, that are just as offensive, I am not so sure if her works meant anything other than what was intended.

Yeah, I read them, and I didn't get that impression from them. In one she talks about a big stinky german guy sitting near her on an airplane. Some people have taken that as being anti-german. I took it as the guy probably talking loudly with a german accent so it was an obviously identifiable characteristic. The brevity of tweets makes it deceptively easy to assume the worst intent on the part of the writer.

Re:Another Case of Poe's Law? (4, Insightful)

Xolotl (675282) | about 9 months ago | (#45769275)

The brevity of tweets makes it deceptively easy to assume the worst intent on the part of the writer.

... and puts additional responsibility on the author to choose their words carefully.

Re:Another Case of Poe's Law? (0)

operagost (62405) | about 9 months ago | (#45769291)

You probably should come to grips with the fact that you are tolerant of people's politically incorrect statements, unless they come from someone who you dislike (like Robertson).

Re:Another Case of Poe's Law? (4, Insightful)

Xolotl (675282) | about 9 months ago | (#45769029)

You are reading way too much intelligence into her tweet ....

Re:Another Case of Poe's Law? (5, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 9 months ago | (#45769093)

You are reading way too much intelligence into her tweet ....

Obviously I disagree. I look at her apology as evidence - it is a complete apology. Not one of those "I'm sorry if anyone was offended" passive-aggressive non-apologies that latent assholes and corporations use to defend their own wrong-headedness. It is an apology entirely consistent with my interpretation of the original tweet.

"Words cannot express how sorry I am, and how necessary it is for me to apologize to the people of South Africa, who I have offended due to a needless and careless tweet. There is an AIDS crisis taking place in this country, that we read about in America, but do not live with or face on a continuous basis. Unfortunately, it is terribly easy to be cavalier about an epidemic that one has never witnessed firsthand."

Re:Another Case of Poe's Law? (4, Informative)

Xolotl (675282) | about 9 months ago | (#45769259)

Her apology pretty much says it right there: "a needless and careless tweet". If it was "darkly ironic" etc etc it wouldn't be "needless and careless".

She's (was) a PR exec - writing heartfelt apologies is part of her job description. Then again, so is not creating PR disasters for her employer (which this was, even if it was indeed meant as a deep commentary on the lot of poor South Africans), so YMMV I suppose. Anyway, I find it hard to believe this was anything deep and meaningful with a history like this:

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

Re:Another Case of Poe's Law? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 9 months ago | (#45769343)

Her apology pretty much says it right there: "a needless and careless tweet". If it was "darkly ironic" etc etc it wouldn't be "needless and careless".

It isn't an apology if you use it to defend yourself.

Then again, so is not creating PR disasters for her employer

I agree, she demonstrated poor suitability for her job regardless of her intentions.

I find it hard to believe this was anything deep and meaningful with a history like this:

Already addressed in my other post.

Re:Another Case of Poe's Law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769279)

Todays lesson: Don't drink and tweet, kids.

Re:Another Case of Poe's Law? (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 9 months ago | (#45769153)

You read too much into it hoping it wasn't exactly what it looked like.

Re:Another Case of Poe's Law? (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 9 months ago | (#45769401)

But I don't have a clear idea of what it looked like.

I think this is probably common in twitter posts, as the short nature of the post encourages considerable ambiguity and lack of precision. OTOH, it seems a clear indication that she's unqualified as a PR executive.

Re:Another Case of Poe's Law? (3, Interesting)

operagost (62405) | about 9 months ago | (#45769273)

Compare this to the Duck Dynasty thing where the guy really had no sense of irony, the surface meaning of his words was the intended meaning.

The irony is that you seem to believe you have intimate knowledge of what his intended meaning was.

Re:Another Case of Poe's Law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769313)

It certainly sounds like dark humor, though in very poor taste.

Honestly I think the term racist or racism is applied too loosely to anyone who says something that is targeted at a specific group of people but isn't inherently hateful (eg poking fun at a stereotype). Racism = hatred of someone because of their ethnicity or color of their skin. Nothing she said indicates she hates Africans, only that her sense of humor is of poor taste. Besides you would think a grown woman in her position of a PR spokesperson would realize that what she was saying is both idiotic and offensive. She should have used better judgement.

Re:Another Case of Poe's Law? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 9 months ago | (#45769383)

Racism = hatred of someone because of their ethnicity or color of their skin.

I disagree. Ask any asian person in the US what they think about the stereotype of being math whizzes. Racism is stereotyping based on race.

On the other hand, and maybe what you are trying to get at, is that there is a big difference between stereotyping (making assumptions) and talking about racial issues. It is can't racist to acknowledge that racism exists.

Re:Another Case of Poe's Law? (1)

khallow (566160) | about 9 months ago | (#45769387)

Eh, it looks like she's done this before [buzzfeed.com] . I think the real difference is that her customers have higher expectations and are a lot more delicate than Duck Dynasty viewers.

this FP for gNAA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45768879)

In the old days (3, Insightful)

John Allsup (987) | about 9 months ago | (#45768895)

People called foxes vermin and hunted them with a pack of dogs.
Now people call other people names and hunt them with a pack of other humans.

Aside from that, the basic drive is the same.  It's a relic from our caveman days, so far as I'm concerned.

The small-town phenomenom (4, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 9 months ago | (#45768901)

It's something anyone who grew up in a small town understands: when you do something stupid in public, everybody will know about it. In a big city, if you make a fool of yourself at a bar, you'll be the laughingstock of the patrons for a couple weeks until someone else comes along. You'll be the butt of jokes from your friends for a while. But the world at large will be pretty much oblivious. In a small town it's different. Everyone in town will know someone who was there, and what would've been a miniscule fraction of the big city will be 90% of the small town. But it'll still mostly be shrugged off, because again everyone in town's been there. Anyone who rags on you too badly will have their own foray into foolishness brought up and bandied about again, and they'll shut up and let it drop. And individually you learn early on what kinds of things will merely make you look foolish vs. what things will cause serious town-wide outrage, and you avoid doing the latter kind.

The Internet is more the small town than the big city. People assume that nobody will find out what they said or did in public, but the anonymity of the big city just isn't there. And the person in question is what makes a lot of these things such a big deal. We don't see a big flap over the thousands of stupid, racist, bigoted comments ordinary people make every day. In this case though, as with the "Duck Dynasty" case, it's not an ordinary person. It's someone who ought to know that their comments are being broadcast to a much larger audience, and who ought to know how those comments are going to be taken. And they go ahead and make them anyway. That's what makes these things go viral like they do.

Re:The small-town phenomenom (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769233)

the anonymity of the big city just isn't there

I beg to differ.

Stupid article, stupid author (5, Insightful)

wickerprints (1094741) | about 9 months ago | (#45768909)

Ms. Sacco deserved everything she got. Nothing more, nothing less. If you do something so overwhelmingly and obviously stupid as what she did, and then compounded that stupidity by getting on a plane and going offline for several hours, what do you expect is going to happen? The author of the article is just trying to twist this sordid tale into some kind of cautionary example of the excesses of "internet justice." Meanwhile, kids are killing themselves because they're being bullied for doing nothing other than being themselves. Where's the author's outrage over that? Ms. Sacco neither has the excuse of being a child, nor the defense of having done nothing to offend. If you do something so stupid that NOBODY is willing to defend it, then why should she not suffer the consequences? One should also consider that the kind of people who would even entertain making such offensive remarks in a public forum are not the kind of people who are so easily shamed. They tend to be sociopaths who end up hardening their self-image in response to the outrage. Don't weep for the likes of her.

Re:Stupid article, stupid author (5, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | about 9 months ago | (#45769015)

The author of the article is just trying to twist this sordid tale into some kind of cautionary example of the excesses of "internet justice."

Exactly. This is the author saying that people who have little power as individuals should not gang up to weild power as a group, after all, next time, it could be a wealthy person who is the target of the hate, and Forbes would not like that.

Re:Stupid article, stupid author (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769053)

Ms. Sacco deserved everything she got. Nothing more, nothing less. If you do something so overwhelmingly and obviously stupid as what she did, and then compounded that stupidity by getting on a plane and going offline for several hours, what do you expect is going to happen? The author of the article is just trying to twist this sordid tale into some kind of cautionary example of the excesses of "internet justice." Meanwhile, kids are killing themselves because they're being bullied for doing nothing other than being themselves. Where's the author's outrage over that? Ms. Sacco neither has the excuse of being a child, nor the defense of having done nothing to offend. If you do something so stupid that NOBODY is willing to defend it, then why should she not suffer the consequences? One should also consider that the kind of people who would even entertain making such offensive remarks in a public forum are not the kind of people who are so easily shamed. They tend to be sociopaths who end up hardening their self-image in response to the outrage. Don't weep for the likes of her.

Yeah, it read to me like the author was saying, "hey, we all make racist comments and sometimes the world finds out about them! Isn't it unfair that this racist loses their job?"

Well no, it's not unfair. And I bet she's employed in 3 months if she bothers looking...there are a lot of companies that couldn't care less about such things.

Re:Stupid article, stupid author (1)

hondo77 (324058) | about 9 months ago | (#45769079)

Darn, I just used up my mod points. Well done.

Re:Stupid article, stupid author (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769085)

On top of the fact that she was a PR executive who is showed herself simply incompetent at her job.

Re:Stupid article, stupid author (5, Interesting)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 9 months ago | (#45769123)

You respond with outrage because it makes you feel good about yourself. I respond with apathy because I don't care. Comme ci comme ca.

It's all about poor ego development. It makes people feel good to think that they are righting some wrong by attacking people like her, or like Paula Deen, or Phil Robertson, etc...

It's dreary. I can see getting upset if someone is inciting violence or making threats, or even pushing for e.g. anti-gay legislation. That matters.

What some random tweeter says? Who gives a fuck.

Re:Stupid article, stupid author (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769147)

Ms. Sacco deserved everything she got. Nothing more, nothing less

A remarkable coincidence, wouldn't you say?

Re:Stupid article, stupid author (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769225)

Christ, this is mod'd insightful. It's fucking groupthink bullshit.

Just for shits and giggles, I wonder if wickerprints thinks Sarah Silverman deserves an equal amount or more of public ridicule and financial harm as Justine Sacco? After all, what Sacco tweeted is small potatoes to the vile, offensive, and humorous things that Silverman spouts in exchange for lots of money.

Sacco's only crime is that she was trying to be funny and failed. Your insistence that she "suffer the consequences" says more about your sociopathy than hers.

You are right in that she is stupid, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769323)

you forgot to add she should be burned at the stake. You of course know everything she really believes, and has actually done besides this stupid tweet. You yourself have never done or said anything offensive in your whole life so be sure you pick up really big stones when you throw them at her.

Of course what she said was stupid, but why should the entire internet bury her? She was a nobody despite being a PR flick, and it appears was already taking flak from the few folks that actually knew her, so did she really need to get dumped on more than that? Isn't that what friends are for when go off the rails a bit? For goodness sakes, somebody managed to get to the airport to take pictures of her when she arrived? Pictures of a nobody who posted a stupid tweet!

I don't know if she is a decent person who just did something stupid, or is the evil sociopath you are convinced she is, but it would actually be nice to know before destroying her for all time.

it is appaling. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45768919)

It is a public lynching by a bunch of hypocrites who just want to show there moral superiority in a cheap way.

Instead, get your ass into a hospice and show your moral superiority there by actually helping out.

Re:it is appaling. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769057)

It is a public lynching by a bunch of hypocrites who just want to show their moral superiority in a cheap way.

FTFY. I just want to show my grammar superiority.

Instead, get your ass into a hospice and show your moral superiority there by actually helping out.

Hey! Now you got it right, congrats!

Re:it is appaling. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769103)

Hey! Now you got it right, congrats!

Even a broken clock is right twice a day... at least if it is a regular analog 12 hour clock.

Vapid (5, Funny)

CodeArtisan (795142) | about 9 months ago | (#45768931)

Wow. I have mod points and want to use them all to negatively mod the "summary" to "Incoherent".

Re:Vapid (2)

NIK282000 (737852) | about 9 months ago | (#45769009)

Why can't we use MOD points on articles yet? Maybe we could collectively bring the quality up a little.

What the hell did I just read? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45768961)

What is this shit? I have no idea what this is about. The submitter needs to learn about something called context.

News Flash! (2)

MarkvW (1037596) | about 9 months ago | (#45768987)

(1) PR professional goes viral to a degree that she only dreamed of before (but it's not pretty).
(2) People talk about her comment.
(3) People talk about people talking about her comment.
(4) People talk about people talking about people talking about her comment.

Being fired was the correct response regardless (4, Insightful)

al0ha (1262684) | about 9 months ago | (#45768989)

The point of her being fired has nothing to do with public outrage, hysteria, infotainment.

This person is a highly paid corporate PR professional and her tweet showed that she is not that good at her job after all, thus being fired. My wife is a PR professional who would never make such as stupid mistake, because she's a professional to the core at all times.

Re:Being fired was the correct response regardless (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769289)

Yes, your wife is boring in bed with me too

Tired of political correctness (0, Troll)

t0qer (230538) | about 9 months ago | (#45768991)

I spend more time in IRC than I should, but often we crack jokes about how a product "Has aids". I won't go into all the other things we talk about, but it's like a bunch of 30-40 year olds pretending to be 14 again. It's all jest, and in good fun. Doesn't mean we're homophobic (one of our regulars is Homosexual) but even he takes all the jokes in stride, because we're all friends.

I know folks from the last generation, before political correctness became so steeped in our culture. They give each other shit for fun. A venerable fountain of racial slurs and epitaphs flow freely from them, with no concern for peoples feelings or political correctness. It's a short form of hazing, to see if someone can congeal in the workplace, put aside differences and work well with others.

Those days are gone. What we have now is a work environment of walking on egg shells and carefully measuring each word for fear of offending someone. We spend an almost equal amount of time worrying about in office politics as we do actually working. I don't like it.

Re:Tired of political correctness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769081)

I spend more time in IRC than I should, but often we crack jokes about how a product "Has aids".

Ha.

Back when I was a kid, I remember TV commercials for Ayds, an appetite suppressant: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayds [wikipedia.org]

Possibly the most unfortunate name for a product.

Re:Tired of political correctness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769271)

Saying that iPads "have aids" is not the same as saying black people in Africa have AIDS and it's funny because I'm white and don't. One is hyperbole, the other is rather racist and downright flippant about an actual epidemic that is literally killing people.

Actually, her comment was a little funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45768995)

I'm sorry, but I thought her comment was kind of funny, and had some truth to it. Let's face it, some of the black dominated governments in Africa helped AIDS to spread by denying the disease for many years.

Re:Actually, her comment was a little funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769327)

I can think of another "government", that is also greatly responsible for that ...
It's territory is miniscule.
It's in Europe.
It has global reach.
It's dominated by white people (exclusively male), who are very well educated.

Any guesses which one ?

No race (or religion for that matter) has exclusivety rights on stupidity and criminal manipulation of the masses for their own self interest.

Terrible summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769013)

When making a summary, it helps to explain who the subject is if they're a not someone famous (to explain why we should care).

It also helps to say what the subject did so we know what was done.

Following these rules, it'll make it much easier for us to ignore stories about PR people who made poorly thought out/poorly written statements on their Twitter accounts.

The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street. (1)

serialband (447336) | about 9 months ago | (#45769019)

Human beings are monsters in these situations.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Monsters_Are_Due_on_Maple_Street

Don't feed the trolls nor troll to feed the masses (1)

ndykman (659315) | about 9 months ago | (#45769021)

Simple as that. Not every random thought you have is worth Tweeting, Facebooking, or whatever brand name to verb is out there.

And to those that were outraged enough to tweet just how outraged you were: just consider actually doing something useful, or saying nothing. Not every little thing affects you personally. Not every racist, sexist, homophobic or just plain dumb comment deserves outrage and shaming by the trolls, err, masses. In fact, most if not all don't.

Sure, if you know somebody in person and you were offended by their remarks then talk to them. Educate them. Make them deal with you as a person. Real life consequences are what matter.

This behavior drives wedges in society and does nothing to actually address the real issues. Having real, personal conversations in our community does. I know it is easy to think of online social networks as communities, but they are not. It's where people live and interact on a daily basis is where real change happens.

Wrong, we thought the were all funny (1)

bricko (1052210) | about 9 months ago | (#45769049)

Especially the one about the Brits etc......heh. But all were spot on. Embrace the suck.

Live by the crowd, die by the crowd (3, Insightful)

jd.schmidt (919212) | about 9 months ago | (#45769069)

Anonymous nobodies can say dumb thing all day long with lesser consequences because they have less to lose. If you are making your money in the public eye, you also suffer from its displeasure. There is no way around it. Also, everyone is a hypocrite when it comes to this stuff, people turn from supposed supporters of free speech, as if that should protect your job, to demanding resignations for saying the wrong thing all the time.

Re:Live by the crowd, die by the crowd (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 9 months ago | (#45769239)

people turn from supposed supporters of free speech, as if that should protect your job, to demanding resignations for saying the wrong thing all the time.

Free speech does not mean free from consequences. You can say whatever you want and people are free to react based on your comment. So if I were to tweet, "Damn niggas ruining the place. Should have hung em all 50 years ago", you are free to call me out in any way shape or form despite y right to free speech.

She's the same way. She (apparently) thought she was being funny but both failed miserably and picked a topic which harkened back to the time of Reagan (before she was born).

It bears repeating: The nice thing about free speech is it reveals to the world the true nature of an individual.

Note: Twitter is public (2)

Danathar (267989) | about 9 months ago | (#45769129)

Why people seem to forget that twitter is PUBLIC is crazy.

Social media is the reason behind this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769131)

Sites such as "imgur.com" where you can anonymously "judge" other users are at the heart of this digital "mob mentality". Post a funny picture of a cat but misspell one word or use improper grammar and you'll be lynched by thousands of "downvotes."

In the real world with real consequences beyond "fake internet points", it gets even worse to the point people commit suicide from the aftermath of a social gaff.

The only way to stay safe is to not participate.

what? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 9 months ago | (#45769165)

I support Justine Sacco. The trend to silence and punish anyone you disagree with (duck dynasty, c+=, Steve "losana" Martin, slashdot moderation, etc) is dangerous.

Re:what? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 9 months ago | (#45769295)

I'd support her, if she was anything other then a flack in the first place.

Professional bullshitters have to do better then this.

Mob or no mob, this was DUMB (1)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about 9 months ago | (#45769191)

I couldn't believe this when I saw it. What really got me was WHY a PR "professional" would post something like this. She gets paid to put positive spins on corporate communications. Was alcohol involved? Did she think she was posting something for only her Facebook friends to consume? Did someone guess her supersecret password "password123" and decide to have fun? Turns out she was just being dumb. Don't they teach this stuff in college communications classes? (I guess that's why the communications majors were at the bars 6 nights a week while us science nerds were studying our butts off for little gain.)

True PR people can be amazingly good at what they do. Look at all the bad press heaped on BP after their drilling rig blew up, or the banks when the economy almost collapsed. The PR people were churning out positive spins on stories for all these companies...I really think they just live in an alternate reality and believe 100% in what they write.

I'm not a big Facebook person -- I only use it to keep up with family and old friends -- and I don't have a Twitter account. Maybe I'm old but I really don't understand the point of Twitter. Facebook I get, sort of. Twitter is a complete mystery to me, and it only seems like it appeals to people who want to stalk celebrities...excuse me, celebrities' PR departments. :-)

The permanent nature of Internet communications is very real -- once something is said, it can never be unsaid. It's what stops me from putting up the casual IT blog I'm interested in doing -- I'm paranoid about some employer somewhere taking offense with something that was said years back.

Public Relations Executive (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769205)

Senior PR executive has no clue about the consequences of sending out moronic tweets in her own name may have on her own image.

Tweet goes viral, everybody starts saying she's an idiot and because she's publicised who she works for her on the net, her bosses read it and think "PR disaster caused by supposed PR expert, obviously not such an expert after all". Employment ceases. Simple.

This is not about censorship, freedom of speech, political correctness. If you plaster your life, career and thoughts all over the web, expect consequences if you post stuff like this, and realise that those consequences may be beyond your control. I mean, you're free to walk into the boardroom and say loudly that you think every executive at your company is an asshole, but don't expect to get a round of applause for exercising your freedom of speech afterwards.

Who ? What ? (3, Insightful)

Pop69 (700500) | about 9 months ago | (#45769249)

Why should I care or even know about this ?

Freedom of speech..no? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769339)

Isn't this covered under freedom of speech?
Not saying she said something good, it was more duckspeak then anything.
but, she does have the right to say it.

I just feel personally, that this kind of internet Mob bullying is doubleplusbad.

So the TRUTH is 'idiotic'? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45769377)

Why do you believe white people don't have the right to have their own countries?

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