Tags: cnn | blackmail | reddit

CNN Blackmail: Shut Up Redditor or We'll Expose You

Image: CNN Blackmail: Shut Up Redditor or We'll Expose You
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By    |   Thursday, 06 Jul 2017 06:25 AM

CNN is trending on social media, but #CNNBlackmail is a far cry from the kind of attention the marketing folks prefer. The hashtag topped Twitter trends in the U.S when it emerged the network "blackmailed" a Redditor.

The incident that sparked the campaign took place last week, when a Reddit user, "HanA**holeSolo," shared a GIF showing Donald Trump punching a wrestler who featured the CNN's logo superimposed over his face.

The GIF later disappeared from the internet.

On Sunday, however, Trump famously tweeted an edited video with sound from the original GIF, noted CNN.

Then, on Reddit, "HanA**holeSolo" claimed he inspired the tweet. Shortly after, various other posts of his began to circulate on social media, many of which reportedly had racist undertones.

CNN's KFile reporter Andrew Kaczynski managed to track down "HanA**holeSolo," obtaining vital information pertaining to his identity and, on Monday, attempted to make contact with him by phone and email.

CNN reported that "HanA**holeSolo" did not respond but, the following day, he posted a lengthy apology on /The_Donald subreddit and deleted all his previous posts.

In his post, which was later removed by moderators, "HanA**holeSolo" said:

"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. 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."

"HanA**holeSolo" added that the meme was created purely as satire and was not meant to be a call to violence against CNN or any other news affiliation.

He then made contact with CNN's KFile, confirming his identity.

According to reports, CNN said it would not reveal "HanA**holeSolo's" name, but reserved the right to do so if he posted anything else deemed offensive in the future.

That sparked massive backlash on social media, with many calling it blatant blackmail of the Redditor, who was initially rumored to be a 15-year-old.

Posting on Reddit, users also aired their views.

"Seriously. They're acting like thought police. It's eerie. They're quite literally saying 'he's going to do as we say, or else.' I just got all around weird vibes from the article," said Tomgq.

Kaczynski tweeted back to the critics, explaining that "HanA**holeSolo" is not a minor.

"Correcting misinformation. HanA**holeSolo is an adult and not 15 which people have spread . . . Need to point out again HanA**holeSolo is a middle aged man. People claiming he's 15 are wrong. Some are intentionally spreading this."

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CNN is trending on social media, but #CNNBlackmail is a far cry from the kind of attention the marketing folks prefer. The hashtag topped Twitter trends in the U.S when it emerged the network "blackmailed" a Redditor.
cnn, blackmail, reddit
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2017-25-06
Thursday, 06 Jul 2017 06:25 AM
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