But they didn’t actually publish his name or any information about him. So it isn’t doxing, and there isn’t a drop of proof that CNN ever threatened to reveal said information, in fact hey made it a point not to review his info.
So the argument that CNN doxed him is based upon the assumption that CNN would have published his identity or threatened him that they would do so, and there is no proof that they did either of these things.
Seriously, I don’t think its a big leap to say that if CNN wanted to hurt this guy they simply would have published his identity.
So the argument that CNN did something wrong or threatened to expose his identity all presuppose an intent on the part CNN to do so. That they “would if they could” or that they somehow “gain something” or “punish him” by not publishing his name, which doesn’t make sense.
You are perfectly free to mistrust CNN and criticize them, but it doesn't look like they broke any laws by following a bread crumbs to figure out who this guy was. Right now there is no evidence to show that they didn’t just follow perfectly public clues to figure out who the poster was. And I can’t stress this enough, THEY DIDN’T PUBLISH HIS NAME!
So the only way that you can conclude that CNN did something wrong in choosing NOT to reveal his identity is if you come from a place where you already expect the worst out of CNN absent any evidence related to this specific instance. You have to already start from the conclusion that “CNN is likely to dox someone in order to silence them” to reach the conclusion in this instance that “CNN purposefully tried to silence him”.
CNN didn’t detain him. CNN didn’t stop him while he was driving, steal his passwords or otherwise. They used information that was publicly available, have employees trained in investigative journalism, followed the bread crumbs and found out who he was. They contacted him and he either got scared at his own stupidity and did a mass erase or had a moment of clarity and did a mass erase.
Look, over the next few weeks you’re probably going to see a whole lot of people who don’t have a grasp of the law memeing off about how CNN broke the law. But the thing is, unless this guy decides that he was coerced and blackmailed and presses charges against them then CNN broke no law. You need to establish intent in order to make out such a charge and you can’t do that unless the “victim” at very least says “yes, I felt threatened”
And honestly, this guy has a whole lot of incentive to do just that if he really feels like he was threatened There’s both monatary incentive (civil suit) and the opportunity to stand up for his beliefs.
But, from his apology, it doesn't sound like he was threatened. From his apology it doesn't sound like he’s remotely proud of the things he said. if anything he comes off as massively embarrassed and ashamed.
If you just look at this in neutral light, without assuming that “CNN is the worst” from the beginning and look at the fact that CNN DID NOT reveal his name and read the actually substance of the guy’s apology at face value, this doesn’t come off as CNN silencing anyone, so much as CNN and a troll both doing the right thing.
CNN by not revealing a private person’s info and a self identified troll by retracting a whole lot of things that he posted that were specifically intended to be offensive for no other purpose than to be offensive.
I don’t think that CNN’s action will lead to a silencing of real opinions, whistle blowing or activism. The future Edward Snowdens of the world won’t stop standing for their beliefs because CNN DID NOT reveal the name of a troll. And if a few people who post offensive things on the internet for the sole purpose of being offensive and nothing else now think twice before they do so, free speak will be none the worse for it. The ones that really want to will do it and the ones that don’t might reconsider upon second thought.
There will always be people willing to write rude things bathroom walls and reddit stalls.