Unless you have been living under a rock, you would have heard about US President Donald Trump and his CNN, wrestling-inspired tweet. It was not one of Trump's smartest decisions, causing lot of controversy due to it seeming to encourage anti-media violence.
CNN versus the world
The source of the post was tracked to Reddit, to a user who goes by the handle u/HanA**holeSolo.
From here, CNN handled things very, very badly.
A quote on the CNN website reads: "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, fearing for his personal safety and the 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.”
And here lies the problem - with CNN seemingly threatening to publish the identity of the source if they did not post in accordance to the views of CNN.
This violates the ideology of freedom of speech, with a satire piece doing nothing to break the law.
However, CNN’s threat has led to the source to fear for their personal safety, and if the Reddit user's identity was published, it was likely they would face significant harassment from those who disagreed with him.
This led to an uprising of sorts on Reddit, with countless anti-CNN memes and posts.
Ultimately, this is a public relations disaster for CNN. Instead of responding appropriately to the childish tweet by Trump, they have instead stooped below his level and begun to threaten the sense of personal safety and privacy that internet users have.
This is a very sensitive topic in today’s culture.
Who was most at fault here? Donald Trump? CNN? Or the user who made the meme in the first place?