We've heard a lot of talk about "decency" lately.
Okay, let's talk about decency. Forget namecalling. How about a Verizon owned media group targeting a Twitter user, exposing her full name and location to the terrorists whom she has condemned online because the media group's reporter doesn't like the Twitter user.
And, because Trump once retweeted her.
We're talking about Amy Mek, a prolific Twitter user, who is the subject of a bizarre piece by the Huffington Post's Luke O'Brien titled, "Trump’s Loudest Anti-Muslim Twitter Troll Is A Shady Vegan Married To An (Ousted) WWE Exec."
Sub, "@AmyMek anonymously spread hate online for years. She can’t hide anymore."
So yes, that's doxxing. And it's being conducted by a Verizon company. Verizon bought AOL. And AOL bought Arianna Huffington's cage of trolls and crazies. So the reputational risk is on them.
Luke repeatedly uses the word, "cruel" in his attack on a Twitter user. A more accurate description of "cruelty" would be targeting a Twitter user, making assorted claims about her personal life, getting her husband fired from his job, because he doesn't like her views.
I don't know much about Amy. I do know that she seems to criticize Islamic terrorism. And some in Islamic and on the left consider that enough to justify terrorizing her.
Amy Mek is a Twitter user. She's not a public figure. Being retweeted by Trump does not make you fair game for exposes. A famous person retweeting you does not make you a public figure.
Except apparently now it does. And the rest of the media which claims to aspire to decency while cheering on the Gawkerites needs to answer as to whether it believes this is ethical journalism?
Verizon shareholders also ought to ask whether the company isn't carrying significant reputational risk through its ownership of the Huffington Post.
Gawker's antics ended with a $140 million verdict and a $31 million settlement. Verizon needs to ask itself if letting its reporters doxx random Twitter users they don't like is worth $31 million or whether it's time to exercise some editorial control over the Huffington Post.
They also might want to consider whether they really want to let a jury in Fishkill decide this question.
If you're a Verizon shareholder, you can find the company's investor relations contact information here. And you may want to ask them how they plan to shield the company against the reputational risk and legal risks from Huffington Post's dangerous and unethical behavior.