If you’ve been an internet user since the early 2000s, you’re probably very familiar with the name Gawker. The once-popular celebrity gossip site ruled the web for well over a decade. However, despite all of the website’s success, Gawker’s run wasn’t all peaches and cream. The website was involved in lots of controversy over the years, and one incident even bankrupted the company. In 2012, Gawker published clips from a sex tape featuring Hulk Hogan and Heather Clem. Hogan sued Gawker and won more than $100 million in the process. After losing the lawsuit, Gawker was forced to shut down. Although everyone thought the publication was gone for good, it looks like Gawker is getting a second wind. The website is back up and running, and it’s hoping to regain its former dominance. Keep reading to learn more about Gawker’s relaunch.
While the issue involving the Hulk Hogan sex tape was one of the biggest blemishes on Gawker’s reputation, the website had been involved in a handful of other serious controversies during its original run. There seemed to be nothing the site wasn’t willing to publish. One of the outlet’s most controversial moments came with the addition of a section called Gawker Stalker. This section of the site posted celebrity sightings on a map. Many people felt that this feature was dangerous because it would lead to people legitimately being stalked.
In 2008, Gawker was involved in another controversial incident when the website posted screenshots from Sarah Palin’s personal email address. The messages had been obtained from hackers who were not affiliated with Gawker.
All in all, Gawker became known to the world as a site that was willing to do just about anything to get views. While they definitely accomplished what they set out to do, they made a lot of enemies and faced a lot of lawsuits in the process.
What To Know About Gawker’s Come Back
If you’re surprised that Gawker has risen from the dead, you aren’t the only one. That being said, you’re probably wondering how this is even possible. The answer is actually quite simple. Gawker was purchased by Bustle Digital Group. According to Raw Story, many of the writers and editors who had previously worked for the site have been re-hired. Leah Finnegan, who worked for Gawker several years ago, has been brought back as the editor-in-chief. Although she’s excited about the opportunity, she admits that she was a little hesitant to accept the position.
In a blog post on Gawker, Finnegan wrote,
“When Bustle Digital Group first approached me to revive Gawker last year, I said absolutely no way in hell. Who in God’s name would want to edit a website that was cratered by an evil tech lord and sullied by a botched relaunch? The Gawker name was toxic, but also weirdly revered; an intractable combination…I suppose my selling points as a potential editor-in-chief of Gawker were that I had previously worked at Gawker and Bustle and was unemployed. I was also willing to do it, which not many people can say. And I am a genius. So, clearly, I said yes.”
In addition to all of the nostalgic vibes that come with bringing Gawker back to life, it appears that simply needing a job was a huge deciding factor in Leah’s choice to return to Gawker. Still, it doesn’t seem that she’s just there for a check. Finnegan seems to genuinely want Gawker to survive this time around and she hopes readers will be on board. At the end of her post, she wrote, “I ask you to approach this new iteration of Gawker with an open mind and an open heart. ”
Will Gawker Survive?
Gawker officially re-launched in July 28, 2021. Surprisingly, the resurrection was somewhat quiet and there are probably still a lot of people who have no idea the site is back. In reality, only time will tell if Gawker has what it takes to thrive. In reality, however, a lot of things on the internet have changed since Gawker shut down in 2016. Although people still love gossip, Gawker probably won’t last if it embarks down the messy path it used to be on. Lots of celebrities have a no-nonsense policy for anything that even resembles cyberbullying, so if Gawker tries its old stunts it could end up back in court.
Additionally, if people want to be nosy, there are lots of other ways to do it these days that involve a lot less reading. A quick search of the word “Gawker” on Twitter brought back some mixed reviews. There are some people who are excited about the site coming back, and others who couldn’t care less. Either way, everyone is hoping that they do things better this go ’round.
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