Jeff Bercovici on the Justine Sacco shitshow last week:
Compounding the bad judgment was a perfect storm of circumstances. Stuck on a plane for hours, Justine was unaware of the outrage she’d sparked, unable to delete or attempt to explain it. That allowed the affair to swell into a real-time news event that was fascinating even to spectators who had no particular feelings about it. Justine’s professional affiliation with billionaire Barry Diller and his well-known companies made her seem important, not just some random crank; a number of other ill-advised tweets provided fresh fodder and the outline of a caricature; her job as a communications professional lent the whole episode an irresistible irony.
Now IAC has fired her, and Justine has apologized. Both were inevitable. So what else is there to say?
Only this, maybe: Justine Sacco was not the first person to get herself fired for saying something stupid on Twitter. She won’t be the last. Every medium and technology ever invented carries its own perils, but there’s something about social media in general and Twitter in particular that invites and rewards self-damaging behavior.
The awfulness and stupidity of what she said aside, it was fascinating to watch it unfold. At one point, my entire stream was about the tweet of one seemingly random woman.