Tweet on AIDS in Africa sparks internet outrage

Tweet on AIDS in Africa sparks internet outrage

Tweet on AIDS in Africa sparks internet outrage

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by ABCNews

WHAS11.com

Posted on December 21, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Updated Saturday, Dec 21 at 6:33 PM

(ABCNews)--  A tweet from the Twitter account of the communications director of the company owns popular websites like Match.com, Vimeo, and Dictionary.com, implied that the woman would not have to worry about getting AIDS because she's white, sparking controversy online and bringing a prompt apology today for what she called "a huge stupidity."

The tweet from InterActiveCorp executive Justine Sacco's account that was posted shortly before she embarked on a lengthy plane ride to Africa read: "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!"

While Sacco was on board with no Internet access, a trending hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet and parody account @LOLJustineSacco quickly appeared on Twitter. A fake Facebook account under her name was also created, and among the posts was a link to www.justinesacco.com that brings up a donation page for Aid for Africa.

The Twitter account on which the post appeared has since been deleted, and a post today on a Facebook page believed to belong to Sacco reads: "I made a huge stupidity, I deeply apologize. Away from me a racist idea, it was just for laughs — in Cape Town, South Africa."

Sacco could not immediately be reached for comment.

According to the New York Times, the now deleted message was posted from London, suggesting that Sacco's account could have been hacked by an unauthorized user.

InterActiveCorp issued an apology citing the tweet as "outrageous" and "offensive," according to the New York Times.

InterActive Corp did not respond to a request for comment from ABC News.

Gogo, which provides Internet on flights, responded to the incident by tweeting "next time you plan to tweet something stupid before you take off, make sure you are getting on a Gogo flight! CC: JustineSacco."

Another twitter user, @hunterw, claims to have found the author of a liveblog complete with pictures of the PR exec.

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