Lanterns: Did CNN Commit a Crime?


Did CNN Commit a Crime?

The public uproar over CNN’s threats to expose an online supporter of the President has caused some to wonder if a crime was committed.  A user of the social media nexus, Reddit, claimed he was the creator of the GIF President Trump tweeted last Sunday morning.  The animated video showed the President fighting and winning in a wrestling match with CNN.  It became President Trump’s most retweeted post of all time.  

CNN maintains that this Tweet was an incitement of violence.  Andrew Kaczynski, senior editor, and founder of the network’s investigative team, KFile, claimed that he figured out the user’s identity.  An article published on CNN’s website contained an apology from the Reddit user and implied that the network would reveal his identity if the user continued to post negatively about CNN.  

This behavior is called “doxxing” in the online world, and according to many, is illegal.  Kaczynski denies that they threatened the user with blackmail into writing an apology.  The hashtag #CNNBlackmail was a trending topic for days after the event.

Senator Ted Cruz agreed with many in the online community that CNN’s behavior is, at the very least, “troubling.”  He tweeted law statutes from the states of New York and Georgia that CNN appeared to violate.  

Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange took to Twitter to allege that CNN may have violated the First Amendment, as well as multiple state and federal laws.

What do you think?  Did CNN break the law?  Sound off in the comments!


Written by Traci Belmonte

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