For those who don’t know, some guy made a faux wrestling meme in which President Trump body slams a character marked “CNN.” Apparently the President enjoyed the meme because he tweeted it out to the masses. CNN was not amused and decided to hunt down the guy who made the original meme and threaten him with exposure, doxing, intimidation.
The guy was found, gave a rather elaborate and a pathetic apology to CNN, and deleted much of his stuff. However, in another twist, we discover CNN’s investigative skills are not any better than their journalism skills and in fact, it is probable the wrong guy was singled out.
I was going to write a witty and scathing review of my observations, but frankly I was just too busy laughing and trying to look away politely. Some things are just so pathetic and predictable, you feel a bit embarrassed on behalf of others who haven’t got the decency to be embarrassed themselves.
I found it incredibly funny that CNN managed to get the story on their own selves wrong, fake newsed themselves, harassed and intimidated the wrong guy, and unleashed hundreds of keyboard warriors in the process. I mean this is America, free speech is like forbidden fruit or perhaps dangling kibbles and bits in the face of pitbulls. And memes are just like candy. Go ahead, tell people they can’t make mean memes about CNN, I dare you….
So poured forth an absolute avalanche of mean CNN memes, some quite inappropriate and nasty, others rather funny…
Behind all this drama is a rather valid point, citizens, especially anonymous ones on the internet, are entitled to their free speech rights, no matter how ugly. We can disagree, object, yell at them, but to intimidate, threaten, or harass them is just wrong. To have the media threaten to expose you can have major repercussions. Few people want their name, address, and phone number out there, their wives and kids can become targets, employers can be contacted. Also, people on the internet can be reactionary, so not thinking critically, perhaps mentally ill, perhaps radicalized by excessive hyperbole. So for CNN to threaten this guy is basicaly to threaten to reveal his private info to every whackado in the world who has and unstable mind and free time on his hands.
That’s flat out wrong.
I’ve written about doxing quite a bit, about internet bullying, about silencing tactics having to do with threats and intimidation. In fact, it’s so annoyed me on a few occaisions I’ve just doxxed my ownself. Don’t mess with crazy women, we have very little left to lose.
It’s somewhat tragic but a bit comical to me, a while back I was explaining to my husband about how internet bullies can ruin your reputation and he quipped, “what reputation?” Indeed. To make it even worse, I said “every weirdo in the world will know who you are!”
So basically just like a Friday night in our neighborhood?
Yep. It was a rather convicting moment in the sense that good grief, my expectations have sure plunged to the bottem of the barrel. I have grown so conditioned to just accept the worse that human kind has to offer, that I have actually come to expect it. I shall have to raise my standards immediately.
While the disgust and resentment towards CNN seems pretty universal, I was rather encouraged by a few others who also expressed some disgust for our doxee, our apologizer. Instant capitulation to the powers that be is not an impressive skill, not one that conjurs up much respect and admiration. But what I found so interesting is what a divide there is in this country. There are actually still people in the world with reputations to protect, with status and jobs and social standing? That kind of leaves some of us scratching our heads in confusion.
I empathize somewhat with those who collapse like a soggy plate of pasta, but still, people really need to examine “what” exactly they are collapsing over? The favor of people? Someone’s criticisms? Free speech is a right that many people gave their very lives defending. As people we’re really going to have to have to learn how to stand firm, to not be intimidated, and to not be silenced. Freedom is never free.
I’m glad to see CNN experience some push back, some fall out. The “press” serves at the pleasure of the people, not the other way around.