George Cacioppo Fired

PlayStation SVP George Cacioppo Fired After Appearing in a Pedophile Sting Operation Video

[Content Warning: Discussion of pedophilia]

Sony has fired PlayStation Network Senior Vice President George Cacioppo after the executive appeared in an amateur pedophile sting operation video over the weekend. Cacioppo was allegedly arranging to meet up with a decoy posing as a 15-year-old boy whom he met on the dating app Grindr. Sony announced that they were aware of the allegations and terminated Cacioppo’s employment on Sunday, according to a statement from Cnet.

Cacioppo joined Sony’s PlayStation Network division back in 2013. He was the Senior Vice President of Engineering at the company at the time of his termination and had worked at Sony for over 8 years. In the video in question, Cacioppo is also wearing a PlayStation 5 t-shirt.

Conducting the sting operation was vigilante group People vs. Predators, which frequently publicly posts videos of their operations on YouTube. The group has also shared a number of screenshots detailing messages and shared photos leading up to the encounter. While the video does not show any crime committed, the Grindr messages show that Cacioppo knowingly arranged to meet up with a decoy who identified as a 15-year-old boy.

Below is the video of the sting operation:

In a statement to Kotaku, a representative from the vigilante group clarified the reason behind uploading the video publicly rather than handing it directly to authorities. “The police department doesn’t work with ‘Cyber groups’ like us. That’s when the internet takes over.” In Cacioppo’s case, however, the group has stated that it has turned in the evidence to authorities. As of the time of writing, Cacioppo’s LinkedIn has not been updated.

[Source: Kotaku, Cnet]