Monday 26 February 2018

The Reddit user who made that clip of Trump beating up CNN has apologised

HansAssholeSolo posted a lengthy apology after he was identified by CNN.

Donald Trump (Alex Brandon/AP)
Donald Trump (Alex Brandon/AP)

By Zaina Alibhai

The Reddit user who took credit for creating a spoof of Donald Trump beating up CNN has issued an apology for the clip.

Trump had shared on Twitter the video showing him bodyslamming WWE chief Vince McMahon, after which user HansAssholeSolo wrote on Reddit: “I wake up and have my morning coffee and who retweets my shitpost but the MAGA EMPORER himself!!! I am honored!!”

However in the apology, HanAssholeSolo said he hadn’t meant to advocate violence of any kind against the press and the video was “nothing more” than a prank.

He wrote: “The meme was created purely as satire, it was not meant to be a call to violence against CNN or any other news affiliation.

“I had no idea anyone would take it and put sound to it and then have it put up on the president’s Twitter feed.”

HansAssholeSolo said the original clip he created featured no sound, although the video Trump shared on his social media account had had commentary added to it – something the Reddit user was unaware of before he took credit for it.

Once the spoof had been traced back to HansAssSolo, his Reddit post history – including anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic and racist comments towards African Americans – came to light.

In his apology, the user said his posts were in “no way” the person he’d been perceived to be, writing: “I would also like to apologise for the posts made that were racist, bigoted, and anti-semitic. I am in no way this kind of person, I love and accept people of all walks of life and have done so for my entire life.

“I am not the person that the media portrays me to be in real life, I was trolling and posting things to get a reaction from the subs on reddit and never meant any of the hateful things I said in those posts.”

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(Richard Drew/AP/PA)

CNN said it’d managed to identify the man behind the HansAssholeSolo account by piecing together personal details he’d shared on Reddit. Using these details, CNN were able to find a Facebook page that corroborated the details and find the man’s name.

It then tried to contact the man by email and telephone on Monday, though it was ultimately unsuccessful. The following day HansAssholeSolo issued his apology on the subreddit /The_Donald before deleting all of his previous posts. His account no longer exists.

HansAssholeSolo contacted CNN after posting his apology and confirmed his identity, and asked they didn’t reveal his name “out of fear for his personal safety and for the public embarrassment it would bring to him and his family”.

CNN said: “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 behaviour 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.”

Press Association

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