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December 21st, 2013
11:20 AM ET

'PR exec's AIDS in Africa tweet upsets Internet'

By Brian Stelter, CNN

(CNN) - Before Justine Sacco took off for Cape Town, South Africa, on Friday, she tweeted: "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!"

By the time she landed 12 hours later, the message had been magnified by a social media mob and Sacco's employer, IAC/InterActiveCorp, had distanced itself from her. On Saturday her Twitter account disappeared and neither Sacco nor IAC had anything more to say — perhaps disappointing the many angry Twitter users who were expecting her to be fired on the spot.

The incident — Boing Boing called it "the tweet heard round the world" — was a glaring reminder that every word uttered on the Internet can be heard by seemingly everyone on the Internet, sometimes with serious consequences.

Read more of Brian's article online here.

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Filed under: Reliable Sources
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