Sunday, December 22, 2013

Death By Twitter: #HasJustineLandedYet

Nothing kills the holiday cheer like another Death By Twitter.
You know, we’ve talked about the “Death By Twitter” rampage lately.  And a lot of the tweets have left us confused, wondering if reactions are overly emotional or if the tweet is, in fact, completely inappropriate.

Well, friends, every once in awhile someone tweets something that throws all confusion out the window- other than the thought of “What in the WORLD were they thinking!”.  That is the case with Justine Sacco and her tweet about Africa.  Warning before reading on, this is offensive.

Why?  Why would you EVER think that was okay to say?  Here’s the real kicker.  Not only is this totally inappropriate, but this woman KNOWS better.  Sacco was (yeah, I say WAS because she has since been fired) the PR executive for the Internet conglomerate InterActive Corporation.  You may not have heard of the company, but you’ve certainly heard of all the businesses they own including and and Vimeo.  A PUBLIC RELATIONS EXECUTIVE! Wow.

So, Sacco has written an official apology.  She is “ashamed” and was “insensitive to the crisis”.  All the right things to say when apologizing.  But, I just need to share this one part of the statement that still irks me.  It reads: “Unfortunately, it is terribly easy to be cavalier about an epidemic that one has never witnessed firsthand.”

WHAT?  No it’s not.  Sorry, Sacco but I don’t buy it.  There are epidemics that I have never witnessed firsthand that I would never, NEVER, be cavalier about.  Think about it.  I’ve never witnessed a massive flood or earthquake.  I’ve never witnessed mass starvation or poverty.  School shootings, hurricanes, the list goes on and on.  But my heart still goes out to those affected, though I am sure their pain is far greater than I may know.  So I don’t buy the whole “ignorance” claim here.  It just gets under my skin. 

Yet, in the redemption we find through the holiday spirit, some good can come out of this too!  Leave it to the Twittersphere to find a way!  A fake Facebook account under her name has been created where a post links to, which brings up a donation page for Aid for Africa.

I like that.  And I also very much respect the official statement of InterActive Corporation, who fired Sacco but spoke of forgiveness when speaking of her.  The company stated: “There is no excuse for the hateful statements that have been made and we condemn them unequivocally.  We hope, however, that time and action, and the forgiving human spirit, will not result in the wholesale condemnation of an individual who we have otherwise known to be a decent person at core.”

It is good to see love and forgiveness reign in the end, huh?  After all, that is what the holiday spirit is all about.

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