Gawker may appeal, but the verdict could cost the company $115 million or more in damages, and its founder and former editor could be held personally liable.
This isn’t the first complication Gawker, led by founder Nick Denton, has dealt with. The past couple of years have been a roller coaster ride for the network of websites, which include sports site Deadspin and Jezebel.
Here are some other obstacles Gawker has dealt with recently:
January 2014: Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino filed a lawsuit against Gawker for copyright infringement. Tarantino decided to take Gawker to court after its Hollywood gossip site, Defamer, published links to download the script for his movie, “The Hateful Eight.” Tarantino withdrew the lawsuit in May of the same year.
October 2014: Adobe pulled its Gawker sponsorship after a writer tweeted a joke about bullying in the gaming industry. Gawker ran a series of posts about the GamerGate movement — and one of its writers tweeted that GamerGate “nerds” deserve to be “constantly shamed and degraded into submission” — that reportedly resulted in advertisers including Adobe and Mercedes-Benz tempering their ad dollars. Politico reported that it cost Gawker “seven figures” in lost advertising revenue.
January 2015: A heated comment thread between Gawker writer Leah Finnegan and founder Nick Denton suggested internal conflict. Essentially, Finnegan wrote an article bashing the names actress Zoe Saldana chose for her children and Denton thought she took it too far: “This is just nasty,” he commented on the article. Read the full comment argument.
July 2015: A slew of writers and editors followed Read and Craggs’ lead. After Gawker axed the controversial post, a series of other editors and writers followed suit, taking with them a two-month severance package. Since, the company pivoted to focus on politics — meaning there were some layoffs.
July 2015: Two top editors resigned after Gawker decided to take down a controversial post. Editor-in-chief Max Read and executive editor Tommy Craggs announced they were leaving the company in protest of Gawker’s decision to remove a story, which accused the CFO of Condé Nast of seeking out a male escort.
September 2015: The Daily Mail sued Gawker with a defamation lawsuit. The lawsuit was over a first-person piece Gawker published in March 2015 by a former Mail Online writer. It was titled, “My Year Ripping Off the Web With the Daily Mail Online” and slammed Mail Online for allegedly shoddy practices of journalism.
November 2015: A former Gawker staffer called out the company for gender bias and a wage gap. In an article posted on Medium, Dayna Evans wrote about the treatment of female editors, writers, and managers at Gawker Media. She claimed that women deal with an “egregious pay discrepancy” and that “it’s impossible for ‘invisible female management’ to get recognised for their work.”
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