A Kickstarter campaign to resurrect Gawker.com, the celebrity and media chatter area driven into bankruptcy by wrestler Hulk Hogan’s sex-tape lawsuit, expired on Tuesday, well short of its fundraising goal.
Members of The Gawker Foundation, a nonprofit created by former staffers, launched the campaign last-place month with the expectations of raising $500,000 to buy shuttered Gawker.com and relaunch the site.
But the coalition precipitated far short of the ambitious goal, with roughly 1,500 supports raising less than $90,000 as awareness-raising campaigns expired Tuesday.
Gawker.com, together with all Gawker Media symbols, was put up for auction in June 2016 after Hogan acquired a $140 million invasion-of-privacy conviction against the company, communicating it into bankruptcy. That August, Univision bought Gawker Media’s dimensions for $135 million, and Gawker.com was shut down.
Despite the fundraising failure, expedition organizers were “floored by the outpouring of support, ” said James Del, a former vice president of programming at Gawker Media and a Gawker Foundation organizer.
“It was an ambitious goal, but practically 1,500 parties were willing to pay money for a site that hasn’t are presented in over a year, ” Del wrote in an email to HuffPost on Tuesday. “That’s impressive, and although we won’t be able to compete at auction, we hope one of the other amiable gatherings interested in the area has been unable to triumph. There’s clearly demand.”
Another onetime Gawker staffer, who spoke to HuffPost on the standards of anonymity, said the campaign’s lack was disappointing, but not surprising.
“Look: If the graduates all rallied behind it openly and loudly, I thoughts the goal would’ve been hit, ” the person wrote in an email.
The Gawker Foundation had outlined two purposes for the fundraising campaign: prolong the site’s archives, and relaunch Gawker.com “under the stewardship of former journalists, new novelists, and an alone membership-funded model.”
Plans are “underway” to preserve Gawker.com’s archives, according to Del, which impound articles that predate story sites like BuzzFeed, Vox, Mic and HuffPost.
“There are years and years of storeys in there that chronicle some of a very early years of media blogging in New York and beyond, and as we’ve realized over the past year, we have no meaning how many posts in that archive will be coming newsworthy in the future, ” Del said.
Gawker.com boosters condemned the site’s downfall in 2016 after a Florida jury learnt Gawker violated Hogan’s privacy by publishing a copulation videotape clip. Hogan’s lawsuit was filed in 2012 after Gawker refused to take down the tape, and conclude with Hogan acquiring a $140 million judgement.
Forbes revealed that Hogan’s lawsuit was funded privately by tech billionaire Peter Thiel, who maintained a resentment against Gawker after the site “outed” him in a 2007 article. Media pundits warned that Gawker’s bankruptcy recognized a threat to the free press and a violation of free speech.
“Hulk Hogan conceded that Gawker’s story about him was true, yet he still prevailed a enormous conviction and , not incidentally, drove the Web site out of business, ” Jeffrey Toobin wrote for The New Yorker. “The prospect of liability, perhaps existential in nature, for true floors presents a chilling probability for those who rely on the First Amendment.”
Interest in resuscitating the place took prop amid the recent #MeToo movement, given Gawker’s history of exhuming personality unprofessional behavior and onslaught accusations. The Kickstarter campaign said “Gawker was willing to chase fibs that other shops considered too risky or salacious, ” including early accusations against Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K ., Harvey Weinstein and President Donald Trump.
“All the things Gawker reported years ago on all the people who are just being taken down now — those narrations came long before any progress, long before the big stories that publishers are now exploiting as part of their ad campaigns, ” the anonymous onetime staffer said.
In November, The Washington Post published a video that boasted media editor Margaret Sullivan examining the vital role Gawker played in uncovering sexual wrongdoing charges against high-profile figures.
”Gawker was early on getting the complaints about Weinstein and the fact that this was an open mystery, ” Sullivan said. “They took an open mystery and actually written it.”
She continued: “I guess their absence is certainly saw. I mean for one thing, the facts of the case that this organization is drew down the route they were has sent a wintry through the national media system.”
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