Ted Cruz: CNN May Have Broken The Law With Doxxing Threat

Ted Cruz: CNN May Have Broken The Law With Doxxing Threat

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said CNN may have broken the law in threatening to publicly expose the person who created a GIF of Donald Trump appearing to beat up a man with a CNN logo for a head.

After the president tweeted out the GIF last week, CNN has been on a warpath to hunt down the creator and make him pay. In an article published Tuesday, entitled “How CNN found the Reddit user behind the Trump wrestling GIF,” Andrew Kaczynski had this to say about why the network decided to keep his identity under wraps.

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 thinly veiled threat in CNN’s story has spurred much criticism, as detailed in an article by Peter Hasson at The Daily Caller, which the Texas senator tweeted out Wednesday morning along with a note about how the network may have broken Georgia state laws.

The law Cruz cited (GA § 16-8-16) states that it is a crime to unlawfully obtain property from another person by threatening to “disseminate any information tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule or to impair his credit or business repute.”

CNN, which is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, may have violated that law when it threatened to publicly identify the Reddit user — thereby subjecting him to hatred, contempt, and ridicule — unless he apologized and promised to never disagree with or be mean to the TV network again.

In addition to potentially violating the law, CNN may have also violated Twitter’s terms of service, which stipulates that threats are considered “abusive behavior,” which is strictly forbidden.

“We do not tolerate behavior that crosses the line into abuse, including behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another user’s voice,” Twitter’s rules stipulate. 

CNN’s own Brian Stelter tweeted out a link to the aforementioned policy when he wondered in public if the GIF itself violated Twitter’s terms.

This also doesn’t appear to be the first time a CNN employee extorted an apology from a person by threatening to publicly identify him. CNN producer Donie O’Sullivan  bragged on Twitter that he had recently done the same thing.

“I tracked down a guy who was trolling me recently,” O’Sullivan wrote. “Once he realized I had identified him he apologized and asked me not to tie all the anti-Semitic, racist, and sexist posts he had shared back to him.”

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