Observers have expressed outrage as CNN has tracked down a teenager who posted an internet meme on the Reddit website, and has blackmailed him into taking down his posts, otherwise they may choose to reveal his identity to the public.
CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski obtained the name of a 15-year-old boy who posted a .GIF file depicting the media outlet’s logo getting body slammed by President Trump.
Kaczynski wrote, “CNN is not publishing “HanA**holeSolo’s” name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again. In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same.”
As reported in the Daily Caller:
CNN only agreed not to release the user’s identity on the basis that he does not “repeat this ugly behavior on social media again,” implying they would have released the Redditor’s identity had the individual not shown remorse.
This has grown into a major point of contention within the Reddit community, and currently the top comments attached to CNN’s article — numbering more than 21,000 at the time of publication — are trashing the embattled news outlet.
While CNN protects the identity of the multitude of “anonymous sources” leaking information from the White House, the threat to out the original poster of the meme’s identity has individuals on both sides of the aisle crying hypocrisy.
Instead of shutting down the meme, CNN’s extreme reaction and bullying tactics have in fact resulted in even more videos being created and distributed in defiance.