CNN threatens to dox creator of Trump wrestling video

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CNN threatens to dox creator of Trump wrestling video

Post by mr friendly guy » 2017-07-05 11:45am

Remember that Trump video taken from when he wrestled Vince McMahon of WWE fame and someone superimposed the CNN logo over it. Well CNN found his identity and threaten to dox him.

straight from the horses mouth
How CNN found the Reddit user behind the Trump wrestling GIF
By Andrew Kaczynski, CNN
Updated 0927 GMT (1727 HKT) July 5, 2017

(CNN)The Reddit user who initially claimed credit for President Donald Trump's tweet that showed Trump tackling CNN issued an apology Tuesday 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.

Reddit user "HanA**holeSolo" first shared the GIF last Wednesday of Trump pummeling a wrestler with CNN's logo imposed on his face. CNN could find no earlier instance of the GIF. The GIF was later edited into a video with sound and tweeted by the President on Sunday.
On Reddit, "HanA**holeSolo" took credit for inspiring the tweet. Soon after, "HanA**holeSolo's" other posts on Reddit, some of which included racist and anti-Semitic imagery, quickly circulated on social media.

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.

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.

After Trump tweeted the video on Sunday, "HanA**holeSolo" took to Reddit to say he was "honored," writing "Holy s—!! I wake up and have my morning coffee and who retweets my s—post but the MAGA EMPORER himself!!! I am honored!!" MAGA is an acronym for the President's campaign slogan: Make America great again."
In the phone interview on Tuesday, "HanA**holeSolo" said the White House did not ask his permission to use the GIF, and said he probably would have said no if they had.
"I didn't realize that post would be picked up the way it was, he said. "I should have never even said anything."

Trump has not issued an apology for the tweet, which he sent Sunday morning. Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert said on ABC's This Week that "no one would perceive" the tweet as a threat.
The Committee to Protect Journalists said in a statement this week that the tweet "undermines the work of the media in the U.S. and makes it more dangerous." CNN said in a statement that the tweet "encourages violence against reporters."
On Monday, a senior administration official told CNN that the video was not pulled from Reddit. The White House still has not responded to a series of questions from CNN asking how the video ended up as a tweet from the President.

"HanA**holeSolo" said about the President's tweet, "I think they should have used their better judgment, since the President tweets things off the cuff, it's a kneejerk reaction. I don't feel that they should have posted something like that given the controversy going on between them and the media."
When asked specifically about his other posts that consisted of racist, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic language and imagery, he answered, "I love people of all races, creeds and origins. One of my best friends is a homosexual and one of my best friends is Jewish and one of my best friends is Muslim."

In his apology on Reddit, "HanA**holeSolo" sent a message to his fellow anonymous posters.
"To people who troll on the Internet for fun, consider your words and actions conveyed in your message and who it might upset or anger," he wrote. "Put yourself in their shoes before you post it. If you have a problem with trolling it is an addiction just like any other addiction someone can have to something and don't be embarrassed to ask for help. Trolling is nothing more than bullying a wide audience. Don't feed your own self-worth based upon inflicting suffering upon others online just because you are behind a keyboard."
Firstly, I have no sympathy for a racist bigot being humiliated even if CNN did dox him. However lets face it. CNN would never chase up some loser on reddit who makes anti-semitic comments if he didn't also make that gif of Trump bashing a CNN reporter. Now if he just made that video of CNN without the bigoted comments....hmm that's a tough one since it could fall either side of it actually suggesting physical violence or just representing Trump trashing CNN.

Thoughts on the ethics of doxing such people.
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Re: CNN threatens to dox creator of Trump wrestling video

Post by Iroscato » 2017-07-05 12:21pm

This is pathetic on all sides.
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Re: CNN threatens to dox creator of Trump wrestling video

Post by Vendetta » 2017-07-05 04:37pm

Publishing someone's real name when they do something newsworthy (like attract the attention of a sitting president) is not doxing them, it's reporting the news.


Doxing someone is revealing sensitive information about a person like their home address.

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Re: CNN threatens to dox creator of Trump wrestling video

Post by Solauren » 2017-07-05 04:46pm

I don't feel that imposing a label over someone's face in a 10 year old video from a disappointing WWE story-line is newsworthy, even if Trump retweets it.
However, the fact that Trump is looking at and respoting stuff from a racist IS newsworthy.

So, instead of publishing his real information (DOXING), CNN should have just located it, showed up, and said 'hey, we know you are this guy, we'd like to do a 'face obscured interview' with you.
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Re: CNN threatens to dox creator of Trump wrestling video

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-07-05 04:51pm

I am not a fan of doxing- its simply thinly-veiled incitement to, and enabling of, harassment and vigilantism. When used for political purposes, as a tool of intimidation, it is a borderline form of terrorism.

That said, I'm surprised CNN had the balls. Though maybe I shouldn't be. CNN, on the whole, is not terribly ideological, or principled, but it is self-interested, and Trump and his cohorts have made them a target.

But then, Trump has a true gift for pissing off just about everybody (except his Nazi fan-whores).
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Re: CNN threatens to dox creator of Trump wrestling video

Post by Joun_Lord » 2017-07-05 07:19pm

While I can't say I hold much sympathy for a racist or a shitposter, the almost Mafia level reaction by CNN to a fucking shitty headswap GIF is downright disgusting. Nobody deserves to be doxxed especially by a main stream media news source nor should any media entity be pretty much blackmailing some rando internet troll.

The fact this asshole (its in his name) was someone who said racist shit might make this seem okay it should not. Just because we disagree with someone, even when what they say is utterly disgusting, does not give someone else the right to violate their rights, to stalk and harass them. This is like political blackmail, attacking a critic with public exposure unless he grovels and they can still release the information if they so choose.

Apparently this shit even pissed off Julian Assange and he's saying they broke New York laws.

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Re: CNN threatens to dox creator of Trump wrestling video

Post by Terralthra » 2017-07-05 07:26pm

Julian Assange is the last person to talk about doxxing anyone, given that his organization has doxxed vulnerable LGBT people in countries where that's illegal.

Anyway, CNN claims, and provides evidence, that the poster in question deleted their previous posts and posted an apology before CNN tracked them down, and there was no coercion nor threat implied by the article in question. The network was absolutely pursuing a story of public interest: if the president is tweeting memes, some portion of the public will want to know whence they come and who made them. If your problem is that an otherwise private citizen shitposting on Reddit has been called to national prominence, blame the person in the Oval Office tweeting their shitposts out to the nation, not the news network investigating the public statements of the fucking president of the US.

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Re: CNN threatens to dox creator of Trump wrestling video

Post by mr friendly guy » 2017-07-05 09:01pm

Er no threat? I underline the part where they say they CNN reserves the right to publish his name if anything change.
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Re: CNN threatens to dox creator of Trump wrestling video

Post by Rogue 9 » 2017-07-05 09:45pm

Well, if he resumes making himself newsworthy, it's still their job to report the news.
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Re: CNN threatens to dox creator of Trump wrestling video

Post by Terralthra » 2017-07-06 04:27am

Exactly. He made a very deliberate decision not to be a public figure on the back of Trump's bringing infamy his way. CNN reported on that, and said they aren't releasing his name because of it. Conversely, if the person decides to change his mind tomorrow and ride the wave of infamy and attention to internet shitposting celebrity, that's opting in to being a public figure, and CNN has every right - even duty - to report on him in detail.

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Re: CNN threatens to dox creator of Trump wrestling video

Post by Gaidin » 2017-07-06 10:21am

Fun question: They traced him to his facebook account. Is it actually a threat of doxxing when they say if he does more they'll just reveal what the now-theoretically-retired troll put online himself?

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Re: CNN threatens to dox creator of Trump wrestling video

Post by General Zod » 2017-07-06 10:34am

Gaidin wrote:Fun question: They traced him to his facebook account. Is it actually a threat of doxxing when they say if he does more they'll just reveal what the now-theoretically-retired troll put online himself?
Presumably it's something you'd have to put an effort into in order to find out. Unless he did something dumb like actually posting his Facebook page or linking it to his Reddit. It's ridiculously easy to cross reference people's information these days.
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Re: CNN threatens to dox creator of Trump wrestling video

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2017-07-06 10:55am

Honestly, that doesn't read to me as a threat so much as ass-covering. Basically, in this case CNN has decided to respect this person's wish to remain anonymous. But if this person does something particularly newsworthy next week (like, say, show up at a Trump rally or whatever ... not that I think this is likely, mind, but just an example), and CNN decides to report on it and uses his name, he could turn around and threaten to sue them for failing to protect his anonymity (not that I think such a suit would hold much weight, but it would still be a hassle to deal with). This just reads to me as CNN covering their bases in case this guy decides to not be anonymous anymore.

That said, I can certainly see how it would read as a threat, as well, and certainly think they could have framed it better if that was not their intent.

EDIT:
CNN would never chase up some loser on reddit who makes anti-semitic comments if he didn't also make that gif of Trump bashing a CNN reporter.
Are you really so sure about this? It seems to me that social media in general has become such a major cultural force that it is constantly being reported on in one way or another. I seem to recall other instances in which CNN (or other major news outlets) spent inordinate amounts of time covering random memes, either from Twitter or reddit or whatever. Unfortunately it's hard to verify this at the moment, because the search engines are saturated with articles related to this story, so I can't actually dig up any particular example. It just seems to me that there is nothing unusual in-and-of-itself that CNN would try to contact someone on reddit about a meme.

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Re: CNN threatens to dox creator of Trump wrestling video

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2017-07-06 11:16am

Ghetto edit:

I re-read the article more carefully. I admit that I read it pretty quickly the first time, and my last post was referring specifically to the sentence that mr friendly guy had underlined for emphasis. What I had neglected to read was the previous couple of sentences:
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.
Honestly, I find that to be more damning than the sentence that mr friendly guy highlighted. As I said in my last post, that sentence had seemed more like ass-covering. However, these sentences make it sound a lot worse. This sounds like a stern parent lecturing their child. It's a really weird and uncomfortable tone for what is ostensibly a news story to be taking.

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Re: CNN threatens to dox creator of Trump wrestling video

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-07-06 11:33am

Joun_Lord wrote:While I can't say I hold much sympathy for a racist or a shitposter, the almost Mafia level reaction by CNN to a fucking shitty headswap GIF is downright disgusting. Nobody deserves to be doxxed especially by a main stream media news source nor should any media entity be pretty much blackmailing some rando internet troll.

The fact this asshole (its in his name) was someone who said racist shit might make this seem okay it should not. Just because we disagree with someone, even when what they say is utterly disgusting, does not give someone else the right to violate their rights, to stalk and harass them. This is like political blackmail, attacking a critic with public exposure unless he grovels and they can still release the information if they so choose.

Apparently this shit even pissed off Julian Assange and he's saying they broke New York laws.
Julian Assange is hardly a credible source. He's basically Putin's butt-monkey these days, so him taking a stance that favours a Trumper against the mainstream media is no great surprise.
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Re: CNN threatens to dox creator of Trump wrestling video

Post by mr friendly guy » 2017-07-06 11:53am

I have no idea whether Julian Assange is an expert on the laws of New York, and hence whether he is credible in regards to that, but his tweet has attached the relevant law with links to the relevant government website.
https://twitter.com/JulianAssange/statu ... 4499536897

And here is the law in question.
https://www.justice.gov/crt/conspiracy-against-rights
If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same;...

They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
I have underlined the same parts Assange did in his tweet. Not sure why he chose some of those bits to underline, but there it is.

Personally it does look like some form of intimidation given the person was reported to have apologised and CNN says they will reveal his identity if does it again.

Now I am going to say that if his only action was to make a CNN meme, they wouldn't really have anything to metaphorically hang him with. However since he has also made bigoted statements, and is totally not a bigot (yeah right), then CNN has a leverage on him. Perspective employers may not want to deal with a racist. Either way, one could argue intimidation on him exercising his right to free speech of being a racist bigoted shithead or his free speech to make memes critical of a news organisation. That being said, if this is the definition of conspiracy against rights, then its a pretty broad definition since right wingers like Michelle Makin would be guilty of it since he continued to publish a critics name even after they asked her not to do so, and anyone affected by trigger warnings can use this law. I am not a lawyer of course, but I am just saying how I see it at a cursory glance.
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Re: CNN threatens to dox creator of Trump wrestling video

Post by Gaidin » 2017-07-06 11:57am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
Julian Assange is hardly a credible source. He's basically Putin's butt-monkey these days, so him taking a stance that favours a Trumper against the mainstream media is no great surprise.
I'm also pretty sure that'd be a he-said she-said case that'd require the internet-personality to come forward on his own into New York Court and contest CNN's story of how things went down would would kind of put an amusing cherry on how things are played out. "Yea we found all this online before it was deleted, we also found his facebook account that corroborates with what he posts in reddit. We decided not to post his name because he was changing his habits apparently. He decided to come forward and help prosecution with this case anyway, so welp on keeping his internet-identity secret huh."

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