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TL;DR Gawker broke the law - it doesn't matter who funded the suit

For those who never read past the headline on Twitter, enjoy the point served as headline. Gawker has been bought by Univision, and will shut down operations next week. Staffers will be assigned other editorial roles, either at one of the other six sites or elsewhere within Univision, but the flagship gossip blog will cease to be.

Since Gawker was a master troll of brands like Coca Cola and hounded PR people like Justine Sacco, their particular "sticking it to the man" attitude rang quite hollow while their own site was worth over $500 million - sold today for $135. Lets have a peek at what other journalists are saying about this on twitter.

Meet Dave Weigel, covering national politics for The Washington Post.

As if Hulk Hogan was the only person to be trampled on by Gawkers "journalism". Gawker outed Peter Theil, sent a Twitter mob after Justine Sacco, Gawker refused to take down a possible rape video and mocked the woman who pleaded with them to. Gawker outed a married Condé Nast exec for no other reason than they could. There seems to be a theme here as Gawker spent a lot f time trying to smear James Franco with the dubious title "gay rapist". "Bring Back Bullying" Sam Biddle discovered the Twitter mobs weren't as much fun when it happened to him. It never is.

This hasn't stopped him from being quite the confrontational jerk on Twitter still.

The Executive Director at @Freedompress and the Guardians US editor mourns while worrying about copycat billionaire legal lightning strikes.

Much like lightning strikes can be avoided, not breaking the law helps here, as billionaires won't have any cases to pursue then. Just a tip.

Nick Confessore, a political reporter for The New York Times and MSNBC contributor hopes the archives of gay outings, awkward facebook posts from non-celebrities and rape videos stay online somewhere. We can always get fresh clickbait media from wherever the Gawker writers end up, and from the generation of journalists who admire their style. I for one do not want to live in a world where "journalism" requires indiscriminate access to private people’s sex lives, mainly because I don't care about other peoples junk or where they stick it as long as everyone involved are consenting adults.

Lachlan Cartwright , the Executive Editor at Rada Online and National Enquirer calls Gawker a "journalism game changer". This is correct, the invention of timely fun like "the Gawker Stalker" and the publishing of names of all gun owners in NYC, disregarding the safety of owners who legally bought guns due to domestic violence and stalkers, certainly did shake things up. I'm sure a lot of people are relieved that Gawker won't be around to post the information that will leak when sex toys get hacked.

Et tu Stuart?

HuffPo writers are great at hyperbole by the way. Here's Sr. Enterprise Editor Huffington posts's hot take - it's bad for all of America.

Naturally Kotaku's editor lays the blame of Gawkers death on 'a vindictive billionaire'. Not an actual privacy invasion and the "journalistic" raspberry to the judge who ordered the tape taken down. What is sad is that it takes a billionaire to get an abusive site like this to stop.

Hulk Hogan himself tweeted a bodyslam of a comment:

I would love to know who this "media executive is" so I can buy her a drink and make her my bestie.

@Vdare said pretty much exactly what I wanted to say on the matter. This is your legacy, Gawker.

Gawker is only dead in name, their legacy of internet journalism, gathered from tweets, forums, boards and gossipy emails from people with an agenda lives on, as demonstrated by the Twitter-laden post above. Online journalism intent on copying the success of blog journalism, is now firmly rooted in copy-pasting and opining, finding "the quickest source of outrage, and outrage is traffic" to quote Sam Biddle. Gawker is dead, long live Gawker.

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Voiced Asrai's picture

Max Read (EIC from 2014-2015) gave his post-mortem. Thought you would find it very interesting!
https://archive.is/zWLHt (just in case something happens to the original link)

Dabitch's picture

The pot & Kinja bit certainly was. Kinja, the modular commenting system was basically a way to get more free writing from people, as was the entire trajectory of the Gawker empire. Pay very little, and based on hits, while raking in the click-ad-cash. This is what fuelled the sociopathic "reporting". Greed.

Holy shit "Gamergate" is number 3 on the list... And the background on that, oy.

More problematically, it would turn out, I was also, unconsciously, messing with the only group even less able to grapple with irony or context: brands. What I’d missed about Gamergate was that they were gamers — they had spent years developing a tolerance for highly repetitive tasks. Like, say, contacting major advertisers.

I like how he conveniently left out the fact that several of those brands listed on their site as partners that we pointed out here, were not in fact partnered with them at all. Adobe for example were not, they asked Gawker to remove their logo and were attacked on Twitter for that. Mercedes was also not partnered with them.

copyranter's picture

Hamilton Nolan actually did do great journalism for Gawker (Letters From Death Row, Report from a KKK Rally, the shady backgrounds and tactics of hedge fund managers, etc.). But the stuff you mention, yeah, I won't miss, illegal or otherwise.

Sport's picture

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.