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Justine Sacco, Internet Justice, and the Dangers of a Righteous Mob 399

Posted by samzenpus
from the everyone-loves-a-loser dept.
An anonymous reader writes "So what exactly was the injustice that everyone was fighting against here? There were no pro-Sacco factions, nobody thought her comment was funny, and it became clear early on that her employers were not going to put up with this. It was quite easy for groups to unite against her precisely because it was such an obviously idiotic comment to make. By the time Valleywag had posted her tweet, the damage to her career was already done; there wasn't any 'need' for further action by anyone. The answer is a bit darker – this wasn't really about fairness, it was about entertainment."
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Justine Sacco, Internet Justice, and the Dangers of a Righteous Mob

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  • by wcrowe (94389) on Monday December 23, 2013 @03:27PM (#45768779)

    The author makes a valid point when he says that there is no evidence that her account was hacked, but what if it were. Indeed. What if your account gets hacked, or someone sets up an account pretending to be you, and then they post something provacative or outrageous. A lot of damage can be done before you even have a chance to respond.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday December 23, 2013 @03:56PM (#45769093)

    You are reading way too much intelligence into her tweet ....

    Obviously I disagree. I look at her apology as evidence - it is a complete apology. Not one of those "I'm sorry if anyone was offended" passive-aggressive non-apologies that latent assholes and corporations use to defend their own wrong-headedness. It is an apology entirely consistent with my interpretation of the original tweet.

    "Words cannot express how sorry I am, and how necessary it is for me to apologize to the people of South Africa, who I have offended due to a needless and careless tweet. There is an AIDS crisis taking place in this country, that we read about in America, but do not live with or face on a continuous basis. Unfortunately, it is terribly easy to be cavalier about an epidemic that one has never witnessed firsthand."

  • by RightSaidFred99 (874576) on Monday December 23, 2013 @03:58PM (#45769123)

    You respond with outrage because it makes you feel good about yourself. I respond with apathy because I don't care. Comme ci comme ca.

    It's all about poor ego development. It makes people feel good to think that they are righting some wrong by attacking people like her, or like Paula Deen, or Phil Robertson, etc...

    It's dreary. I can see getting upset if someone is inciting violence or making threats, or even pushing for e.g. anti-gay legislation. That matters.

    What some random tweeter says? Who gives a fuck.

  • by operagost (62405) on Monday December 23, 2013 @04:13PM (#45769273) Homepage Journal

    Compare this to the Duck Dynasty thing where the guy really had no sense of irony, the surface meaning of his words was the intended meaning.

    The irony is that you seem to believe you have intimate knowledge of what his intended meaning was.

  • by sumdumass (711423) on Monday December 23, 2013 @04:52PM (#45769599) Journal

    It isn't that whites are immune to aids, it is about the differences in culture and education about aids in africa. Whites in africa are more prone to follow western concepts about safe sex so H.I.V/A.I.D.S in africa vastly impacts the white population less than the black populstions. Another problem is that Eugenics is not that far removed from africa and a lot of talk about using condums gets dismissed as trying to qeed the blacks, or certain tribes out of the population so unprotected sex with strangers is encouraged in some areas. There was even at one time claims of a cure by having unprotected sex with a virgin which condemned a lot if innocent girls to rape and infection.

    I don't think tjis is at all a joking matter but it likely will not get better any time soon. Maybe making fun of the culture and life styles is needef to get people to actually examine the problems. I don't think many who clain the comment wss bad understand any of that.

  • by khallow (566160) on Monday December 23, 2013 @11:16PM (#45772229)

    That a lame, racist comment was made by a PR executive and created a media firestorm should surprise exactly no one.

    I just wonder why people can't see that this is a really terrible way to "cause social change"? It's just a shuffling around of who's a legitimate target of bigotry. My view is that bigots are just as much human as anyone else. It should be just as wrong to discriminate against someone merely because they exhibit common human flaws like bigotry as the color of their skin.

    This should especially be true for the people who believe that people by their inherent nature are bigoted. Why ostracize someone for exhibiting human behavior that alleged can't be eliminated?

Hacking's just another word for nothing left to kludge.

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