The Daily Beast has finally admitted it screwed up and removed the article which outed gay athletes on Grindr.
For many, the damage is already done. A heterosexual journalist, Nico Hines, put the lives of queer athletes in danger for his article and it will still continue to live on in screenshots and websites like WayBackMachine.
Following the outrage online, editor John Avlon then removed some identifiable details of the Olympians and left the article up.
This was still not good enough, especially as there was no actual apology.
In a statement, it now reads:
‘Today, The Daily Beast took an unprecedented but necessary step: We are removing an article from our site, “The Other Olympic Sport In Rio: Swiping.”
‘The Daily Beast does not do this lightly. As shared in our editor’s note earlier today, we initially thought swift removal of any identifying characteristics and better clarification of our intent was the adequate way to address this. Our initial reaction was that the entire removal of the piece was not necessary. We were wrong.
‘Today we did not uphold a deep set of The Daily Beast’s values. These values—which include standing up to bullies and bigots, and specifically being a proudly, steadfastly supportive voice for LGBT people all over the world—are core to our commitment to journalism and to our commitment to serving our readers.
‘As a newsroom, we succeed together and we fail together, and this was a failure on The Daily Beast as a whole, not a single individual. The article was not intended to do harm or degrade members of the LGBT community, but intent doesn’t matter, impact does. Our hope is that removing an article that is in conflict with both our values and what we aspire to as journalists will demonstrate how seriously we take our error.
‘We screwed up. We will do better.’
When readers noted they did not actually apologize in the statement, they added two new lines after ‘we were wrong’. They added: ‘We’re sorry. And we apologize to the athletes who may have been inadvertently compromised by our story.’
The original story contained specific details about the closeted athletes, including their nationalities and even where they placed in their sport, meaning they could easily be identified. At least one of the athletes is from a country where homosexuality is illegal, and others were from places where gay sex is taboo.