A public relations executive for the prominent New York-based Internet media company IAC lost her job on Saturday after she posted a message joking about AIDS in Africa and race on her Twitter account, sparking an online furor. "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm White!" Justine Sacco, who was IAC's corporate communications director, wrote in a message on Twitter on Friday, shortly before taking a flight.
The Twitter account has since been deleted, though not before the message was widely circulated online. IAC, which had earlier condemned the message, said on Saturday that Sacco and the company have now "parted ways." Twitter users have posted thousands of comments about the message. Some called the message racist and insensitive. Others defended it as an unsuccessful yet forgivable attempt at humor.
Many users wondered – some angrily, others gleefully – whether Sacco would still have her job after her flight landed. As it turned out, she didn't.