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Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a news writer for Talking Points Memo. Before joining TPM, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett and interned at The L Magazine. At New York University she served as the deputy managing editor of NYU's student newspaper, The Washington Square News. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Catherine

Since Rolling Stone's disputed story on rape culture at the University of Virginia began to unravel, conservative writer Charles C. Johnson has made it his mission to doxx "Jackie," the reported victim of a brutal gang rape at a campus fraternity house.

Last week, Johnson was widely condemned for publishing an unconfirmed photo and full name of Jackie on his website, GotNews.com. He also published a screenshot of Jackie's purported Pintrest account, followed by a post that pulled an image from that account and identified the woman in the picture as Jackie.

The website Little Green Footballs quickly pointed out that the woman depicted in the photo, which was taken at the first annual SlutWalk DC event in 2011, was a different person than the woman Johnson had identified as Jackie. The image had been featured on SlutWalk DC's official Facebook page, Little Green Footballs noted, and the woman pictured had commented on the post to thank the event's organizers and participants. (The photo has since been removed or made private.)

But that wasn't the only place the photo had appeared.

In fact, the photo has been something of a viral phenomenon among sexual assault activists. It has been widely circulated on a variety of social media platforms for more than three years, and it is easily found on numerous websites.

So how did Johnson get the story so wrong?

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Last week, Boston.com's story on a Harvard Business School professor who waged war on a local Chinese restaurant because of a $4 overcharge went viral.

So the website followed up with more juicy scoops. It reported the professor, Ben Edelman, had previously berated management at another sushi bar. In another article, it reported the professor escalated his campaign against the restaurant with an email that contained a racial slur. But Edelman denied writing the racially charged email, and the website took down the story because it couldn't verify that he was the sender.

Now it appears Boston.com is taking the editor who wrote the articles, Hilary Sargent, down a peg as well.

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