In recent years, the Olympic games have become synonymous with sex. And the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro are no different.
Usually, the reports focus on the hundreds of thousands of condoms that are being handed out to athletes in the Olympic Village. But this year, Nico Hines, a reporter for the Daily Beast, took that reporting to a deeply fucked-up place.
In a story published early this morning, Hines, who is straight and married, published an "exposé" that documented how he used Grindr, a gay hookup and dating app, to bait male Olympians, several of whom were closeted and live in repressive countries, and out them in the process.
Although the story was edited to remove details about the athletes after a deluge of angry tweets flooded in, the Daily Beast's editor, John Avlon, has not responded to calls to remove the post from the website.
Citizens of the internet, including our own Dan Savage, were, understandably, outraged.
Here's Slate's take on why Hines' reporting is dangerous:
With his dubious premise established, Hines proceeds to out athlete after athlete, providing enough information about each Olympian he encounters for anyone with basic Google skills to uncover their identities. (After several minutes of Googling, I surmised the identities of five of the gay athletes Hines described.) I’m not going to repeat his descriptions, because—as Hines himself acknowledges!—some of them live in “notoriously homophobic” countries and remain closeted at home.
Currently, same-sex sexual contact is illegal in 74 countries and punishable by death in 16 countries.
More from Slate:
[T]he offensive purpose of Hines’ article is really the least of its problems. Far worse is the actual damage it will likely cause to real, live human beings—inevitable consequences that Hines blithely ignored. Several athletes who are closeted at home (and possibly to their own teammates) will wake up on Thursday morning to the news that the Daily Beast has outed them. Their teammates could ostracize and alienate them; their families could disown them; their countries could imprison them. And for what? A homophobic article about how a straight guy conned gay Olympians from anti-gay countries into hitting on him through Grindr? Hines’ article is a dangerous disaster, a wildly unethical train wreck that should be taken down immediately for the sake of its duped subjects. Hines may view his Grindr-baiting as all fun and games. For the victims of his unprincipled journalism, however, his nasty little piece has the power to ruin lives.
According to the Society of Professional Journalists's code of ethics, "ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect."
Clearly, Hines’ “story” is in clear violation of journalistic standards and, most importantly, basic human decency.