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Yesterday, Nico Hines, a reporter for The Daily Beast, published a dangerous "exposé," which outed a number of gay Olympic athletes, many of who live in countries with repressive anti-gay laws. Hines—who is straight, married, and has a child—used gay hookup app, Grindr, to bait male athletes. As was to be expected, a number of people took to Twitter to express their outrage that the story was ever deemed acceptable by the site's editor.

The flood of angry messages initially persuaded Daily Beast editor-in-chief John Avlon to remove Hines' descriptions of athletes, which included their nationalities, height, and weight, among other revealing descriptors.

However, as furious tweets continued to roll in, the website's editors finally pulled down the whole story later that evening.

They wrote a short letter in which they explained why they made the "unprecedented but necessary" decision and vowed to do better. Here's a snippet:

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.

Why does this fuck-up matter? Tongan Olympic swimmer Amini Fonua, who is openly gay, took to Twitter to explain.




And his ultimate response to Hines' and The Daily Beast: