After sparking nationwide anger over his threat to “out” an animated GIF creator, what’s next for 28-year-old former BuzzFeed wunderkind Andrew Kaczynski?

Hired by CNN to create a political investigative journalism department, the KFile leader is having a terrible week after indications late Wednesday that he had outed the wrong GIF guy.

Over their seemingly-vindictive pursuit of those who dare to mock their news network, CNN and Kaczynski are on the hot seat. This was after outing the Reddit user who allegedly created the anti-CNN video that was re-tweeted by President Trump.

At #StopTheScalpings, a Facebook group with over 107,000 members (and part of the Media Equality Project), blame is placed on the K-File reporter for “blackmailing” an anonymous artist who was forced to apologize for his “bad behavior.”

Since then, the apology has been taken down and the author’s account disabled. For most of yesterday, the hashtag #CNNBlackmail became the #1 trending item on Twitter.

And this morning, President Trump said CNN’s escalation of the controversy was counterproductive. “They’ve hurt themselves,” he said from Poland.

“I think what CNN did was unfortunate for them, as you know now they have some pretty serious problems,” the president added.

“CNN is such a waste. A joke.” said one StopTheScalpings activist.

Member Dee Boyd added, “CNN is inconsequential. It’s no longer a news organization. It’s just liberal entertainment for stupid people.”

CNN is withholding the man’s identity “because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again,” Mr. Kaczynski wrote in an article published Tuesday night.

“CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change,” he continued. A CNN spokesperson said the network “decided not to publish the name of the Reddit user out of concern for his safety.”

BuzzFeed reports that the GIF used by the president and HanA–holeSolo are similar, but there are differences.

First off, what Trump tweeted was a video and has audio. Specifically, it has audio from this 2007 WrestleMania clip.

Also, HanA–holeSolo’s original GIF was shorter, had a different aspect ratio, and had a WWE logo in the corner.

Buzzfeed’s reporters, according to a Twitchy report, have concluded it’s likely the GIF came from Facebook, and not Reddit.

BuzzFeed later talked to a CNN source who said the problematic “reserve the right to publish” line was added during the editing process as a safeguard, “and it backfired.”

Kaczynski and his family are now getting a taste of what it is like to be the focus of intense media scrutiny, such as Monica Crowley and Sheriff David Clarke received after publishing reports of plagarism, which they say are completely false.

BuzzFeed is now reporting that activists have researched his home address, while CNN says it is standing by its story.

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