The CNN Meme War of 2017

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The CNN Meme War is an ongoing cyber-information conflict between legacy media organizations such as CNN and BuzzFeed and Pro-Trump anons on 4chan and /r/The Donald as well as users of Facebook and Twitter. [1]

Timeline of Events

Background and Declaration of War

On July 2nd, 2017, Trump tweeted a video of him attacking a man with his head replaced as the CNN logo at a WWE event. The tweet came after Project Veritas and James O'Keefe secretly taped CNN employees John Bonifield and Jimmy Carr that have put into question the network's journalistic integrity.  In four days, Trump's tweet had garnered 352K retweets and 589 likes. [28]

The tweet appears to have originated from the Reddit user HanAssholeSolo, although whether or not that is true is still up for debate. [29] In two days, Andrew Kaczynski and his KFILE unit at CNN tracked down HanAssholeSolo's identity and contacted him about his content. HanAssholeSolo issued a lengthy apology on /r/The Donald regarding his trolling and that he does not advocate for violence against journalists. After, CNN published an article titled How CNN found the Reddit user behind the Trump wrestling GIF and said in the piece: [30]

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 behavior 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.

Many online, both prominent personalities and regular anons, viewed CNN's statement as a declaration of war against anyone who crosses them and the hashtag #CNNBlackmail catapulted to the number 1 trending topic on Twitter. [30] As a result, pro-Trump communities on 4chan, Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter began to organize a coordinated memetic assault against CNN and the legacy media.

In response, Cecile Dehesdin of BuzzFeed France declared a war against the "racism and islamophobia" of 4chan and Reddit users. She calls upon technologists to "join in the fight of exposing every one of the juvenile, racist, bigoted islamophobes infesting these hateful communities. Cecile makes it clear that her goal is to shut down what she considers to be "hateful" communities and claims to have tracked down 4chan's server which she is trying to shut down. Furthermore, she is wants to find out the IP addresses of users in order to "expose these hateful psychopaths to the world." [18]

Memetic Warfare Underway

Early Developments

Since the declaration of meme war, members of CNN's KFILE unit have been doxxed by anons in retaliation to their threat against HanAssholeSolo. In addition, a cornucopia of memes have manifested across the internet. InfoWars has launched a $20,000 contest, rewarding anyone who creates the "dankest" meme against CNN. [2]

Several memetic operations have been proposed on 4chan and are currently underway. One of them was a collective effort to download CNN's app in order to give them a 1-star rating. In less than a day, the rating of the CNN app in the APP store plummeted and its reviews are full of negative feedback. [7]

Operation Autism Storm

On July 5th, an anon on 4chan authored Operation Autism Storm as an organized effort to bring CNN down and organized his proposal into 5 points. The first point is to have /pol/ and /r/The_Donald in a united front as well as bring in Pro-Trump communities from other sites. Next, the anon says that users must produce as many anti-CNN memes as possible and says that nothing is too racist or edgy and the Pepe is the perfect meme to use against the network. Third, in an effort to cut off money, he encourages users to boycott advertisers or anything similar to cut off money to CNN; In a thread by a different anon, the anon proposes to call cable companies and demand to drop CNN from their package. [31] [32] Fourth, the anon from the original posts aims to discredit every journalist at CNN. And lastly, the anon encourages users to research if CNN, in fact, broke any laws by doxing and threatening to release HanAssholeSolo's identity. [33]

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