Politics has spilled over to the App Store after President Donald Trump tweeted a GIF created by Reddit user "HanA**holeSolo." The GIF, originally posted to Reddit, depicted Trump pummeling a wrestler with CNN's logo pasted over his face. The GIF was later transformed into a video and tweeted by Trump causing an uproar on social media.
CNN eventually tracked down the user who apologized after it was discovered that he had also made previous posts containing racist and anti-Semitic imagery.
"I am not the person that the media portrays me to be in real life,” HanA**holeSolo wrote in his apology which has since been deleted along with his Reddit account. “I was trolling and posting things to get a reaction … and never meant any of the hateful things I said in those posts.”
The apology which was posted to the pro-Trump r/The_Donald subreddit Tuesday called for peace, but peace did come for CNN who found themselves in hot water after #CNNBlackmail began trending on Twitter. The hashtag shot to the top on Twitter's trending topics after Trump supporters accused CNN of forcing the apology from HanA**holeSolo with threats of “doxxing.”Doxxing is when someone searches and releases a person’s personal information online in a effort to shame or intimidate them.
The accusations of doxxing came from both sides of the political spectrum after CNN released a statement explaining why they decided not to release the identity of HanA**holeSolo.
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CNN writer Andrew Kaczynski on Wednesday detailed how the network identified the man behind the orignal GIF. Adding that “he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology,” and that he seemed nervous when contacted asking “not be named out of fear for his personal safety and for the public embarrassment it would bring to him and his family.”
Kaczynski ended his report by saying that CNN had decided not to publish HanA**holeSolo's name because he is a “private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology,” and that he promised not to “repeat this ugly behavior on social media again.”
But, he also added, “CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.”
Many questioned the ethical standards of the network’s decision on social media prompting some to take action.
In an unlikely alliance, users from Reddit, 4Chan, the Republic of Kekistan and others from around the internet have banded together in a boycott of CNN. Social Media has since been flooded with various memes depicting CNN as Isis and other unsavory characters. A list has of CNN’s advertisers has also begun circulating social media, and iOS users have taken to the App Store as part of their revenge on the network.
iPhone and iPad owners have begun targeting all of the network’s apps on the App Store as part of the “meme war” started by 4chan and the r/The_Donald subreddit. As of today, the main CNN app has a 1-star rating, while CNN MoneyStream has earned a 2-star rating due to the coordinated effort of some internet users.
The App Store backlash is just the latest row between President Donald Trump and the mainstream media. It shows that not even Apple is safe from politics, and the influence social media can have on even the biggest of corporations.