Joy Reid Blames Hackers for Anti-Gay Blog Posts, but Questions Mount

Back in November, when a series of homophobic posts on her defunct, decade-old blog resurfaced on social media, the MSNBC host Joy Reid apologized for them. But this week, when Ms. Reid was confronted with a new batch of homophobic writings from that same period, she said she had been the victim of hackers.

That claim was called into question on Tuesday, when the Internet Archive, the meticulous online record-keeping nonprofit that hosted the archived version of her site, said it had found no evidence to support her claim. Ms. Reid did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

The latest group of alleged blog posts includes a great deal of material that might embarrass a prominent liberal figure like Ms. Reid, including expressions of disgust at the thought of homosexuality, opposition to gay marriage, claims that gay men prey on “impressionable teens” and criticism of political correctness.

“Most straight people cringe at the sight of two men kissing,” one post said. It later concluded: “The nature of political correctness is that gay people are allowed to say straight sex is gross but the reverse is considered to be patently homophobic.”

One of the posts also criticizes Rachel Maddow, who is now the most-watched host on MSNBC, as being “at the left-most end of the political spectrum” when it comes to gay rights. (Ms. Reid hosts a weekend morning show on MSNBC, but at the time she kept her blog active neither she nor Ms. Maddow had shows on the network.)

Hacked or not, the posts appear to have made an impact. On Tuesday, PFLAG, a group for the families of L.G.B.T. people, said it was canceling an award it had planned to give Ms. Reid this spring “in light of new information and the ongoing investigation of that information.”

The newly discovered posts were found on the Wayback Machine, a project of the Internet Archive, and were shared on social media last week by the Twitter user who discovered Ms. Reid’s old blog posts last year. That user did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

In a statement to the website Mediaite, which wrote about the posts on Monday, Ms. Reid said hackers had planted them as “part of an effort to taint my character.”

“In December I learned that an unknown, external party accessed and manipulated material from my now-defunct blog, The Reid Report, to include offensive and hateful references that are fabricated and run counter to my personal beliefs and ideology,” the statement said. “Now that the site has been compromised I can state unequivocally that it does not represent the original entries.”

The Internet Archive responded to Ms. Reid’s claim on Tuesday, saying in a statement that it had found no evidence of hacking in the archived versions of her site on the Wayback Machine.

The Internet Archive also said Ms. Reid’s lawyers asked the group to take down the archived version of her site in December because they said either the archive or the original site had been hacked.

The archive said it was warned by Ms. Reid’s lawyers that “‘fraudulent’ posts were ‘inserted into legitimate content’ in our archives of the blog.” But an investigation found that claim to be untrue, according to the archive.

“When we reviewed the archives, we found nothing to indicate tampering or hacking of the Wayback Machine versions,” the statement said. “We let Reid’s lawyers know that the information provided was not sufficient for us to verify claims of manipulation.”

The Internet Archive said it declined the request to remove Ms. Reid’s blog from the archive “due to Reid’s being a journalist (a very high-profile one, at that) and the journalistic nature of the blog archives.”

But it appears Ms. Reid may have taken matters into her own hands. The Internet Archive said that at some point during its correspondence with Ms. Reid’s lawyers, a robots exclusion protocol specific to the Wayback Machine was activated on her old blog.

That protocol sends a signal to the archive, which the archive chooses to abide by, that can be used to get around the Wayback Machine’s policies and remove pages from the archive of the internet.