While the report doesn’t say if Omidyar is providing financial support to Gawker, First Look Media is filing an “friend of the court” brief and is trying to rally other media organisations around Gawker’s cause — turning any appeal into a free speech issue.
This news comes just days after fellow Silicon Valley billionaire and PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel confirmed he was a financial backer of Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker.
Omidyar and Thiel have a history. Omidyar was the founder of eBay, and Thiel was a cofounder of PayPal, which first took off as a way for eBay traders to pay for auction items. eBay eventually bought PayPal, and a lot of former PayPal execs — including Thiel — left. Many later criticised eBay for failing to innovate with the payment system, and eBay spun it back out last year.
Omidyar is the creator and chief financier of First Look Media, the company that owns and operates The Intercept, a journalism venture headed up by former Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, made famous in the wake of the Snowden leaks.
“The First Amendment inspires everything we do,” says First Look’s mission statement.
First Look did not immediately respond to a request for comment.