You’ve probably heard of Justine Sacco, the professional publicist who was fired for posting a racially charged tweet from her personal account. That tweet, pictured above, got Sacco fired from her job. And though it may be somewhat surprising for a censorship-disavowing comedian to say, it was absolutely the right thing for her bosses to do.
Here’s where Sacco effed up big time and what you can learn from her firing.
Make sure the tweet is worth it.
Sacco’s actual tweet just wasn’t that funny. I think she was trying to convey white guilt more than overt actual racism, but when you have to try so hard to be edgy, guess what? You’re not edgy. You’re a tryhard.
Be on the lookout for unintentional irony.
Sacco was a publicist. People like Sacco are supposed to do damage control for, well, people like Sacco. Her lack of foresight would lead anyone to question her competence at her job.
Never ever tweet from a professional account, and if you’re offcolor, don’t list your work info in your bio.
While it may seem fair to point out that she did her tweeting from her personal, not her professional, account, bear in mind that she had her employer listed in her bio–so by proxy, their name was linked to her lack of professionalism and self-awareness. If you need to be “edgy,” get a separate account or make yours private. Or, you know, just hang around cliffs or something.
Don’t tweet when you’re about to be at 30,000 feet.
Sacco posted the controversial message just before boarding an international flight, so she couldn’t follow the news debacle that ensued when she in the air. She screwed herself so royally that she may well be eligible for the mile-high club.