Wednesday 2016-08-24

After having been sued into oblivion by Peter Thiel and Hulk Hogan, Gawker's Nick Denton wrote that the successful shutting of Gawker shows How Things Work, i.e. rich people can destroy journalists and suppress the truth.

Another way to look at this is to re-imagine Gawker as a factory that makes articles, where some of the articles have injured people. Several perspectives obtain:
1) the bad articles were just part of a single bad production run, and that the factory was fixing the problem.
2) the articles were working as intended, and that people were just being too sensitive.
3) the factory itself is polluting, imposing costs on people other than its customers.

A jury and a judge have found that Gawker was polluting by awarding $115M in compensatory damages and $25M in punitive damages. Had Denton not taken an absolutist "you're too sensitive" stand, and leaned towards admitting that some articles may have been out of line, Gawker probably could have gotten damages drastically reduced, and survived to continue its good works.

That wouldn't be Gawker, though.

So now Gawker The Unrepentant In Court has become Gawker The Martyr. And that's how the world works.