Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Blackmail is such an ugly word...

But CNN just loves it. 
Emphasis mine:
The apology came after CNN's KFile identified the man behind "HanA**holeSolo." Using identifying information that "HanA**holeSolo" posted on Reddit, KFile was able to determine key biographical details, to find the man's name using a Facebook search and ultimately corroborate details he had made available on Reddit.
On Monday, KFile attempted to contact the man by email and phone but he did not respond. On Tuesday, "HanA**holeSolo" posted his apology on the subreddit /The_Donald and deleted all of his other posts.
"First of all, I would like to apologize to the members of the reddit community for getting this site and this sub embroiled in a controversy that should never have happened," he wrote. "I would also like to apologize for the posts made that were racist, bigoted, and anti-semitic. I am in no way this kind of person, I love and accept people of all walks of life and have done so for my entire life. I am not the person that the media portrays me to be in real life, I was trolling and posting things to get a reaction from the subs on reddit and never meant any of the hateful things I said in those posts. I would never support any kind of violence or actions against others simply for what they believe in, their religion, or the lifestyle they choose to have. Nor would I carry out any violence against anyone based upon that or support anyone who did."
...
After posting his apology, "HanA**holeSolo" called CNN's KFile and confirmed his identity. In the interview, "HanA**holeSolo" sounded nervous about his identity being revealed and asked to not be named out of fear for his personal safety and for the public embarrassment it would bring to him and his family.
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.
CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.
This has been up for a while, and has managed to set off 4Chan's /pol/ community and several other groups of internet trolls and shitposters. And with good reason. The CNN article is worded with a strong element of coercion. "CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change." In other words, if "HanAssholeSolo" does something that CNN disapproves of they'll publish his information. Now, they've since said that the redditor in question gave his apology before they contacted him. That's not how their article - which is still up now, at 11pm EST, reads. In fact, reading their article, the Redditor, fearing the consequences of having his identity revealed (losing his job, death threats, etc.) was forced to stop performing his - completely legal mind you, albeit rather distasteful - actions. The fact that CNN would stoop to that level, against someone who doesn't even rise up to the level of "big frog in a little pond", and that they've allowed the article to stay up this long is indicative of a wildly amoral and out of control corporate culture. Unfortunately, I don't have cable, don't watch CNN, and my consumer habits make boycotting CNN's advertisers pointless, since I'm unlikely in the extreme to buy anything from them. That means that expressing my displeasure with CNN is basically limited to this blog and social media.