Ethan Strauss has written a really fine piece on the old and new Gawker. Never mind Hulk Hogan and Peter Thiel. What they did to that female college student caught having drunken sex in a bathroom stall should shock anyone with a conscience. I particularly like this except:
Gawker’s bills were paid by its commodification of humiliation. Sure, it helped the brand that they occasionally posted lucid essays and broke meaningful stories. It helped in the way that the highbrow articles at Playboy allowed men of a different era to buy magazines, guilt free. But at bottom, prurient privacy invasion was the core of the business.
Yes, the manner in which Theil’s secret money was used to put Gawker out of business remains troublesome, as I wrote for GBH News in 2016. But let’s not pretend that the world was a lesser place when the site went under, or is a better place now that it’s back.