Its one thing to track down an underage teenager and threaten to dox him for creating an Internet meme that happened to appear on the president’s Twitter account. But what if the person you doxed wasn’t even the creator of the meme? Does that make things better or worse for you? Definitely worse. Earlier today, we reported that a Reddit user, “hansassholesolo”, had been forced to issue an apology to CNN, delete all his Reddit posts and then finally his entire account, after a CNN reporter identified him as the creator of an edited gif of Trump beating a CNN logo.
CNN decided to not release his personal identity and information because of his apology, but threatened to do so if he ever repeated his actions (Create a meme that made fun of them). However, CNN may have actually threatened the wrong person, according to an investigation conducted by Buzzfeed. Yes, you heard that right, BUZZFEED. CNN is so bad that even Buzzfeed is calling them out. While the gif posted on Reddit and on Trump’s Twitter account look quite similar, there are certain difference that indicate that they are not the same. Via Buzzfeed:
As Reddit was celebrating HanAssholeSolo’s victory, one user pointed out that what Trump tweeted wasn’t actually HanAssholeSolo’s GIF.
HanAssholeSolo’s GIF has since been taken down, but screenshots remain and there are some key differences.
First off, what Trump tweeted was a video and has audio. Specifically, it has audio from this 2007 WrestleMania clip.
Also, HanAssholeSolo’s original GIF was shorter, had a different aspect ratio, and had a WWE logo in the corner.
Here’s a screenshot from the video that Trump tweeted. Not even the colors are processed in the same manner.
HanAssholeSolo’s GIF has an NTSC aspect ratio, because it was cut directly from a taping of analog Westlemaniafootage. Trump’s video has an aspect ratio of 16:9.
There’s also the matter of length. In HanAssholeSolo’s original GIF, the wrestling match footage plays once and then, because it’s a GIF, loops itself. The video version doesn’t loop. It has a splice that starts around the 12-second mark, and then the video starts again.
HanAssholeSolo’s original GIF was uploaded directly to Reddit through native-image hosting — which means once the GIF was uploaded it became an HTML5 video file.
So what does this all mean?
Someone downloaded the GIF that HanAssholeSolo originally posted to Reddit. Then that person cropped it to better fit a video player like Facebook or YouTube. Then they went through the effort of syncing it back up with audio from the original clip. Then that person put it somewhere where Trump or one of Trump’s people could see it and download it. Then whoever found the video version had to get it to Trump’s phone.
Once the video was tweeted, news organizations went looking for the source. Most reporters appeared to have screenshot the video and put it through Google reverse image search, which brought up HanAssholeSolo’s original. GIF.
I don’t even know what to say anymore.
Fuck you, CNN.