UPDATE 4:34 p.m.: IAC, the media company owned by Barry Diller, says it has “parted ways” with Justine Sacco, the PR executive whose tweet about AIDS in Africa went viral and upset the Internet, CNN reported.

Original story is below

“I am so sorry,” InterActiveCorp communications director Justine Sacco wrote on Facebook.

Justine Sacco Tweet AIDS Africa Ignited the Internet

Justine Sacco was at the center of controversy after a tweet she posted about race and AIDS in Africa Friday ignited outrage. (Image source: Facebook)

Earlier that day, Sacco ignited a massive firestorm of controversy on the Internet after tweeting, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”

Justine Sacco Tweet AIDS Africa Ignited the Internet

A screen grab of Justine Sacco’s tweet before it was deleted. (Image source: Screen grab via Twitter)

The tweet was posted to the popular blog Gawker and then picked up by BuzzFeed where it was widely circulated on the Internet and condemned as racist.

@ Right, #JustineSacco. You're a racist, and an idiot. I sense a firing coming on...
Justine Sacco Tweet AIDS Africa Ignited the Internet
@ I seriously hope you keep that joking demeanor while you're in the unemployment office. You're going to need it!
Justine Sacco Tweet AIDS Africa Ignited the Internet
@Kid_Purdy
A Kid Named Purdy
@ I hope there's a malaria mosquito waiting for you at the airport holding a sign with your name on it #YaBish.
Justine Sacco Tweet AIDS Africa Ignited the Internet
@steenfox
Maria von Trappgod

IAC, the parent of Internet giants Match.com, The Daily Beast and Dictionary.com, among others, released a statement hinting disciplinary action would be taken against Sacco.

“This is an outrageous, offensive comment that does not reflect the views and values of IAC,” the company said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the employee in question is unreachable on an international flight, but this is a very serious matter and we are taking appropriate action.”

“This is an outrageous, offensive comment that does not reflect the views and values of IAC.”
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But that was not enough to quell the Internet’s outrage. On Saturday evening, the hashtag “#HasJustineLandedYet” became the number one trend worldwide.

Users continued to lambast the public relations executive, while anxiously waiting for her to land and issue a response to the controversy.

I don't think America has watched a landing this closely since Apollo 13 re-entered the earth's atmosphere in 1970. #HasJustineLandedYet
Justine Sacco Tweet AIDS Africa Ignited the Internet
@kjhealy
Kieran Healy
#hasjustinelandedyet do we know which airport @ is flying into or are we just staking out every airport in Africa?
Justine Sacco Tweet AIDS Africa Ignited the Internet
@johnvmoore
John V. Moore
This is better than watching a bad driver get pulled over by the cops. #HasJustineLandedYet
Justine Sacco Tweet AIDS Africa Ignited the Internet
@vinabean
Nolivia Nope

Upon arriving at her destination in Africa, Sacco immediately deleted her tweet and deleted her account.

But the incident also opened up a discussion on whether or not Sacco was the victim of cyberbullying.

This #HasJustineLandedYet proves one thing: humans never change. We love a good bloodbath.
Justine Sacco Tweet AIDS Africa Ignited the Internet
@greggutfeld
GregGutfeld
I'm pretty sure this is cyberbullying
Justine Sacco Tweet AIDS Africa Ignited the Internet
@jaredbkeller
Jared Keller
I wonder if people would feel regret if she committed suicide? Or is it all just a game? Just want to really stress this is cyberbullying.
Justine Sacco Tweet AIDS Africa Ignited the Internet
@MicahGrimes
Micah Grimes

Some even came to her defense, arguing she shouldn’t lose her job for a tasteless joke.

I don't think Justine's "a horrible person that needs to be punished". I think she's joked about something that should never be joked about.
Justine Sacco Tweet AIDS Africa Ignited the Internet
@Zac_R
Zac
Let's not get consumed by mob mentality and run her name through the mud. Rather focus on the subject she joked about. Not the tweet.
Justine Sacco Tweet AIDS Africa Ignited the Internet
@Zac_R
Zac

At the time of publication, it was not immediately clear if Sacco had faced any disciplinary action from IAC.

What do you think?

Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter