It took them a day, but the Daily Beast has finally removed a story by a straight male journalist who created a profile on the gay app Grindr where he connected with Olympic athletes for a story on sex at the Games.
Here is what is now on the page that contained the article:
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.
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 screwed up. We will do better.
The original story contained specific details about gay athletes, closeted it seems in all cases, that caused some to identify them. At least one of these athletes is from a country where homosexuality is forbidden. The story was then scrubbed of these identifying details but stayed on the site until minutes ago.
One open athlete, Tonga swimmer Amini Fonua was scathing on the dangers the Daily Beast article posed to gay athletes and his tweets are a must read.
The reaction to the article on social media was harsh and no one supported what the Daily Beast did. It was journalistic malpractice, deceit, entrapment and voyeurism to a shocking degree. The reporter, Nico Hines, should be fired and the Daily Beast needs to review its editorial policies to determine how the story wound up on the site without anyone stepping in and saying what an affront it was to journalism and simply decency.
Update: The Daily Beast added the words "we're sorry" after this story was first published.