How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life
Photo As she made the long journey from New York to South Africa, to visit family during the holidays in 2013, Justine Sacco, 30 years old and the senior director of corporate communications at IAC, began tweeting acerbic little jokes about the indignities of travel. There was one about a fellow passenger on the flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport: “ ‘Weird German Dude: You’re in First Class. It’s 2014. Then, during her layover at Heathrow: “Chilly — cucumber sandwiches — bad teeth. And on Dec. 20, before the final leg of her trip to Cape Town: “Going to Africa. She chuckled to herself as she pressed send on this last one, then wandered around Heathrow’s international terminal for half an hour, sporadically checking her phone. Sacco boarded the plane. Then another text: “You need to call me immediately.” Sacco’s Twitter feed had become a horror show. A Twitter user did indeed go to the airport to tweet her arrival. In the early days of Twitter, I was a keen shamer.
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