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Was Justine Sacco’s Trial By Twitter Cyberbullying?

www.endcyberbullying.org

A few days ago, Justine Sacco, a communication director for InterActiveCorp, the parent company of many websites including About.com, CollegeHumor, Dictionary.com and Vimeo, posted an offensive tweet that read “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” as she boarded a long flight from London to South Africa.

This tweet generated a wide backlash against her throughout the Twitter community with #HasJustineLandedYet trending, and her unprotected social media accounts were maliciously attacked by critics.

In response, InterActiveCorp released a statement saying: “This is an outrageous, offensive comment that does not reflect the views and values of IAC. Unfortunately, the employee in question is unreachable on an international flight, but this is a very serious matter and we are taking appropriate action.”

However, as hard as Sacco’s tweet is to defend, a Mashable writer commented that the critics went too far when they started leaving vicious and hateful comments on Sacco’s Instagram page including on photos of her child.

“There’s a fine line between slamming Sacco for her blatant what-guys-I-was-just-kidding buffoonery, and taking an unconscionable delight in the misfortune of others,” said the Mashable writer.

It was revealed later that Sacco was let go by the company, and she released a written apology “for being insensitive to this crisis — which does not discriminate by race, gender or sexual orientation, but which terrifies us all uniformly — and to the millions of people living with the virus, I am ashamed.”

 

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The End to Cyber Bullying Organization is the world’s number one source for up-to-date cyberbullying informationnewslegislature, and cyberbullying prevention tips. ETCB is instantly accessible online, and phone assistance by certified and professional cyber bullying counselors is available to any inquiring individuals. Highlighting cyberbullying as a leading issue in today’s technological society and raising awareness throughout the web and throughout communities is the first and primary step to putting an end to cyberbullying.

A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, ETCB is an international cyberbullying awareness campaign that has united over 4.5 million individuals internationally. Youth initiatives have started up in not only the fifty states, but also in nations such as China and the UK. Partnering with other organizations, such as the Girl Scouts of USA and Sears Anti-Bullying Coalition, has enabled us to outreach even further. All of the money raised has been utilized to continue expanding ETCB, helping to increase the impact we’ve made. Most importantly, we are grateful to have comforted and served thousands of cyberbullying victims of all ages. Future victims no longer need to feel as isolated and helpless as I once did.

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