In an article published Tuesday night, CNN threatened to publicly dox the private citizen who created the viral WWE-CNN meme because they disagree with him politically.
The redditor who took credit for making the meme which Trump shared on Sunday, "HanAssholeSolo," was hunted down and made to apologize to CNN due to other "racist and anti-Semetic" memes he had in his post history.
CNN's Andrew Kaczynski (@KFILE) bragged about how he's using a doxing threat to blackmail HanA**holeSolo for sharing politically incorrect memes:
From CNN's Andrew Kaczynski, "How CNN found the Reddit user behind the Trump wrestling GIF":
Now the user is apologizing, writing in a lengthy post on Reddit that he does not advocate violence against the press and expressing remorse there and in an interview with CNN for other posts he made that were racist and anti-Semitic.While CNN viewed this scalping as a major victory, Twitter users did not.
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."
The user further apologized for calls for violence against the press in his statement on Reddit.
"The meme was created purely as satire, it was not meant to be a call to violence against CNN or any other news affiliation," he wrote. "I had no idea anyone would take it and put sound to it and then have it put up on the President's Twitter feed. It was a prank, nothing more. What the President's feed showed was not the original post that was posted here, but loaded up somewhere else and sound added to it then sent out on Twitter. I thought it was the original post that was made and that is why I took credit for it. I have the highest respect for the journalist community and they put their lives on the line every day with the jobs that they do in reporting the news."
The apology has since been taken down by the moderators of /The_Donald subreddit.
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.
The hashtag #CNNBlackmail became the number one trend in America on Tuesday night, just hours after the article was published.
Virginia Republican Congressman and former Navy Seal Scott Taylor tweeted: "@CNN U basically coerce apology & threaten release of identity if something changes? Pretty sure a line is crossed here. #CNNBlackmail."
Julian Assange said he believes they committed a crime:
Andrew Kaczynski initially claimed the redditor's apology came after CNN contacted him.
After a massive backlash, he changed his story to claim it came before.
Despite printing an obvious threat to dox, Kaczynski said the puppet on his string said he wasn't threatened in anyway and is in "total agreement" with him:
Even far-left Vox reporters criticized CNN's actions as "extremely unethical":
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