Justine Sacco has landed — and as a first order of business, the spokeswoman for Barry Diller’s company IAC deleted the tweet that got her in very hot water as she was taking off from London to Cape Town, South Africa.
Moments later, she deleted her account (which had ballooned from some 400 followers to more than 8,000) outright.
But by then, its a matter of public record:
And the storm had long since begun.
Sacco’s tweet provoked anger from the social media mob, which closely tracked her long flight and made #HasJustineLandedYet the No. 1 non-promoted hashtag on Twitter while she was en route. It also raised the ire of her employer, which responded to TheWrap’s request for comment with the following statement Friday:
“This is an outrageous, offensive comment that does not reflect the views and values of IAC. Unfortunately, the employee in question is unreachable on an international flight, but this is a very serious matter and we are taking appropriate action.”
IAC owns and operates myriad digital businesses, from Ben Silverman’s production company Electus to video sites Vimeo and CollegeHumor. Sacco has worked there for more than two years, joining from the WWE.
During the hours Sacco was on her flight, the Internet pounced — with everything from LOLcats-style images (left) to tweets referencing Duck Dynasty, which had its own open-mouth-insert-foot moment this week. One relief organization — Aid for Africa — snapped up the domain name justinesacco.com, and had it redirect to their site while she was still in the air.
Even Buzzfeed piled on, creating a post of 16 Tweets Justine Sacco regrets.
Sacco’s employment status wasn’t immediately clear as of this posting, but IAC had removed her name from its website‘s media contacts list by the time she landed.