I wrote previously about Yiannopoulos’ violations of the SPJ, a journalistic guideline that #gamergate likes to hold up as a paragon of what they’re fighting for.
The primary problem during the previous incident is quite similar to the problem this time around: he’s grossly violating personal privacy when there’s no compelling reason to share the particular information in question. In the former case, he shared Zoe Quinn’s full legal name at a time when an incensed mob was out to harass her. What follows is the latter incident:
Brianna Wu has never stated that she is transgender. There is a pretty disgusting Encyclopedia Dramatica page that claims that she is. Milo has, in the past, sourced questions to publicly harass women with from Encyclopedia Dramatica.
Since Brianna Wu has never stated she’s transgender, there are two possibilities.
1) She isn’t transgender, in which case Milo is likely legally liable for defamation, as well as egregiously failing on basic fact checking
2) She is transgender, in which case it’s a gross violation of her privacy as she doesn’t state publicly anywhere that she’s trans
This is what the SPJ has to say on the matter. Emphasis added for particularly relevant bits:
– Balance the public’s need for information against potential harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance or undue intrusiveness.
– Show compassion for those who may be affected by news coverage…
– Recognize that legal access to information differs from an ethical justification to publish or broadcast.
– Realize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than public figures and others who seek power, influence or attention. Weigh the consequences of publishing or broadcasting personal information.
– Consider the long-term implications of the extended reach and permanence of publication. Provide updated and more complete information as appropriate.
Milo Yiannopoulos now has a history of harassing women with unfounded rumors that were circulated on shady parts of the internet. Please consider passing this story on and encouraging everyone to contact the Breitbart Editor in Chief.