US news website The Daily Beast apologises for article which ‘outed’ gay athletes at Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
It has taken the unprecedented step of removing a controversial article that was accused of potentially outing a number of gay athletes – and even endangering their lives – at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The journalist, Nico Hines, had described how he used online dating, including popular gay app Grindr, to get dates with athletes.
The story said athletes were using dating apps such as Bumble, Grindr, Jack’d, and Tinder to connect with other people at the games.
Horrified readers pointed out that some of those athletes concerned could have to go home to countries where being gay is illegal.
The full statement from the website said: “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. We’re sorry. And we apologize to the athletes who may have been inadvertently compromised by our story.
“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 were wrong. We will do better.”