New York Magazine released the stunningly brave story of thirty-five women who came forward to discuss their unwanted sexual contact with comedian, Bill Cosby. A stark black and white cover presented audiences with the faces of the accusers and victims of a man once beloved and revered as a family icon.
New York Magazine Article Targeted
Shortly after the story was released online, New York Magazine’s website was hacked and brought down. A hacker associated with the group VikingDom2016 and calling himself ThreatKing took credit. While ThreatKing claims his cyber-attack had nothing to do with the story and revolved around his general hatred of New York, the timing is questionable. The Daily Dot gives an in-depth description of his self-proclaimed motives but it still feels very much like the selection of the website was not arbitrary, but rather an attempt at victim-silencing.
In rape culture, victim-blaming and victim-silencing is a common tool used to normalize the act or make it “ok.” New York Magazine’s groundbreaking expose sharing the stories of sexual misconduct forces those content to ignore the bigger issue to confront it head on, both through the faces on the cover image and their words in the story. This makes people uncomfortable, even if they outwardly believe the accusations.
Nymag.com remained thoroughly inaccessible for the greater part of the day. It came back online just after 2pm Eastern time though access can be spotty. Copies of the story can still be accessed through various archiving sites if their website is still struggling.