The American sensational news site Gawker, which had to file for bankruptcy in 2016 following a heavy financial penalty for the publication of a video of sexual intercourse, retries the adventure with a new owner.
Read also: The Gawker site closes its doors
The Bustle Digital group said Wednesday it had recruited former contributors and editors to relaunch the site, which had to go out of business after being ordered to pay $ 140 million to famous wrestler Hulk Hogan. The case divided media and free speech advocates when it was revealed that Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, whose homosexuality Gawker had revealed without his consent, had funded Hulk Hogan's defense. The parties had finally reached an agreement providing for $ 31 million for Hulk Hogan and part of the assets of Gawker Media auctioned off in bankruptcy proceedings.
Spanish-speaking television group Univision had acquired several sites from the group including Deadspin and Gizmodo, while main site Gawker was acquired in 2018 by Bustle owner Bryan Goldberg.
Leah Finnegan, who had worked at Gawker in 2014 and 2015, was in charge of the new formula.
"The no itself was toxic"
In a message on the site, she explains that she hesitated for a long time.
"Who would want to become the editor of a website that has been crushed by an evil tech lord and marred by a botched relaunch?"
she asks, Bustle Digital having already tried to get the site up and running again in 2019.
“Gawker's very name was poisonous but also strangely revered; an insoluble combination
“I thought how much I missed laughing while surfing the internet,”
writes Leah Finnegan, recalling how much Gawker had entertained her.
The site was regularly criticized for its unscrupulous celebrity coverage, such as when it released a video of Hulk Hogan having sex with a friend's wife, which precipitated his downfall. But the case had also raised some cringe, raising questions about the ability of wealthy figures to use their money to silence a media outlet.