Following CNN’s threat to reveal the identity of a Reddit user alleged to have created an animated image mocking the cable news network that was recently tweeted by President Trump, #CNNBlackMail rose to the number 1 spot on Twitter’s trending hashtags.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2017
In the lead article posted on CNN’s website on Tuesday evening, the network stated that the Reddit user had apologized for “the video and other offensive content he posted — one day after CNN identified the man behind the account and attempted to make contact with him.”
In the article, CNN promised to keep the user’s name confidential, for now, but only 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.”
CNN said that the network “reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.”
As a result of their statements, CNN is now being widely accused of blackmail by users of social media, with #CNNBlackMail becoming the top trending hashtag in the United States.
Notables who condemned CNN included WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, self-proclaimed “internet freedom fighter” Kim Dotcom and political candidate Brianna Wu, among others.
A multi-billion dollar TV network blackmailing a private citizen into not making funny videos about it is not journalism, CNN. #CNNBlackmail
— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) July 5, 2017
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) July 5, 2017
Count me among those that find’s CNNs veiled doxing threat to Han Assh*leSolo very, very ethically shaky. pic.twitter.com/2KwfJV6Ap9
— Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) July 5, 2017
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) July 5, 2017
— Caligula Casanova (@FallenCasanova) July 5, 2017
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