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December 20, 2013

Buzzfeed Gets Results: Random Person No One Ever Heard Of May Be Fired Because of Joke Tweet! Yaaayyyy!!!

Justine Sacco, a woman with 100 Twitter followers who no one ever heard of, is -- or perhaps was -- a communications director with IAC, a firm that owns a bunch of internet companies (like About.com).

She did something you're not allowed to do anymore: She made a joke.

Well, obviously she's telling a darkly ironic joke, of the kind you see on Saturday Night Live and the Family Guy every week. And sure, like the jokes on those shows, it's not terribly funny and it's a bit hacky.

But it's a joke. And not a joke at Africans' expense, either. It's black humor commentary about her soft, safe white life.


Well, you and I might understand that, but @BuzzfeedAndrew -- or, as I call him, "Scoop Kascynski" -- knows a smokin' hot story (and clickbait for a slow news day) when he sees it.

Well, a whole bunch of people joined in to say how awful this woman was, just because everyone secretly loves the game they played as children, when a group of kids would circle around and terrify and humiliate one kid who the group jointly decided was fair game for cruelty. Everyone loves joining in a group to destroy someone deemed "outsider."

And this ritual Pack Animal Frenzy Behavior bore fruit -- the woman's company has been apprised of her WordCrime, and they promise they'll take "appropriate action."

“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.”

Isn't that wonderful?

By the way, Buzzfeed's article, headlined...

Internet Erupts After PR Woman For Media Firm Tweets A “Joke” About Getting AIDS In Africa

Justine Sacco is at the center of a massive Twitter storm after joking that white people can’t get AIDS.

...fails to acknowledge that Buzzfeed Editor Andrew Kaczinsky was a major player in ginning up this "internet eruption" and in calling the "Twitter storm" to savage Sacco.

So Buzzfeed created a clickbait "let's get this random stranger fired just to prove we have power" story, and then they publish that story and get traffic off it, without acknowledging that they are, in fact, key actors in all of this.

So, Sacco's on her way to Africa and doesn't even know that Buzzfeed has worked so diligently to bring her unauthorized Humorousness to the attention of her bosses.

Won't it be a lovely Christmas for her.

Aren't human beings just the most wonderful types of people?

Update: I forgot to mention this. Buzzfeed did a little more journalistic digging to find out what other Naughty Things this allegedly Free Citizen might have said in her past.

It's quite scandalous what they uncovered.

This is not the first time that Sacco has tweeted something that was professionally questionable…

I'm so glad we Told On Her.

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posted by Ace at 05:32 PM

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