Gawker Media is a media corporation which owns numerous blogs, including Kotaku, all of which are notorious for yellow journalism, bias, and corruption. Originally only Kotaku was a target for GamerGate supporters until Sam Biddle, one of the writers for its flagship blog Gawker, wrote a tweet that called for the return of "bullying nerds". After this incident, Gawker became a major target of Operation Disrespectful Nod. After losing several key advertising campaigns Gawker started using Google AdSense and Amazon Associates to aggregate ads, prompting Operation Baby Seal.
Role in GamerGate
One of Gawker's first articles regarding GamerGate was an article written in an attempt to explain GamerGate to its readers. This article gained the attention of many GamerGate supporters, which ultimately caused Sam Biddle's pro-bullying tweet.
Due to the unapologetic stance Gawker usually takes on their articles and on external affairs, Gawker has become a major target of the Operation Disrespectful Nod e-mail campaign. Shortly after Sam Biddle's first tweets, Adobe announced they would no longer be supporting and were distancing themselves from Gawker.
On October 22 - Gawker published an article titled "How We Got Rolled by the Dishonest Fascists of Gamergate". In this editorial piece, Gawker insults Intel and Adobe calling them "pusillanimous morons" and accusing them of "[lacking] integrity" because Intel and Adobe listened to their customers and refused to support bullying.
This action seems hypocritical, as they have a history of boycotting right-wing news sites like Fox News in an effort to remove their sponsors from shows that disagree with their agenda.
Ferguson "Riots are Good" article
On November 26, a few days after the riots in Ferguson were re-ignited due to the No Indictment verdict on Darren Wilson, the police officer that shot Michael Brown, Gawker posted an article written by Matt Bruenig titled 'Actually, Riots are Good: The Economic Case for Riots in Ferguson'. Bruenig also wrote a follow-up piece on his personal website, titled 'Actually, Breaking Windows Is Good'. In the Gawker piece, Bruenig talks about why he believes the riots are good from an economical standpoint, though mostly goes on to talk about the monetary value a human life has, stating:
Joel Johnson and Gawker's call for @NYTFridge's doxing
On December 2, 2014, The twitter account NYTFridge tweeted about an article detailing an internal Gawker memo in which Nick Denton stripped Editorial Director Joel Johnson of his title, while still offering a VP level position within the company. Shortly before the NYTFridge tweet, but most likely after the internal memo was sent out, Johnson had tweeted "Bring back bullying", a callback to the tweet Sam Biddle posted on October 16 and Johnson wrote the official apology for on October 22.
Upon discovering the NYTFridge tweet, one of Gawker's employees Leah Finnegan, a Senior Editor, tweeted out:
In a reply, she CCed several other Gawker staff, including Sam Biddle who also tweeted asking for personal information of the NYTFridge account shortly after replying to a NYTFridge tweet saying "I'm gonna dox you very soon". As an incentive, John Shankman, who runs an Ad network, offered 2 weeks of free services to the first media company to post his information.
Leah continued to taunt the NYTFridge account for the next hour, stating "every time a fridge closes an angel gets its first kinja", "if you have any info on fridge & are not offering it up you are on the wrong side of history cc @samfbiddle", and "we are simply trying to dox this site's most insidious terrorist so we can all live in peace & calm".
Lawsuits involving Gawker Media
Unpaid Intern Lawsuit
On June 21, 2013, a lawsuit was filed by Aulistar Mark, Hanchen Lu, and Andrew Hudson, individually and also on behalf of various other Gawker interns between 2010 and 2012, in which they claim they were responsible for writing, editing, and comment moderation for the site, while not receiving proper compensation. Key figures at Gawker claimed that the interns were unpaid because their internships consisted of mostly training, and working one on one with editors, which they considered to be a form of compensation, and they cite the fact that the interns were aware the internships would be unpaid. The judge, while not deciding on the claims, ruled that there were enough interns harmed for the lawsuit to be certified as a class-action lawsuit.
Despite not paying their own interns, Gawker has a history of calling out other employers with similar tactics, while saying nothing of their own lawsuit. In August 2013, Gawker published the article about how Condé Nast had stopped paying their interns, after originally giving them $550 per semester. Later that month, Sam Biddle wrote an article in which he calls out Facebook COO Sheryl Sandburg for posting an unpaid job position listing despite making $91 million over the course of a day by selling Facebook stocks. Sam Biddle went on to make this one of his "biggest dick moves of Silicon Valley" in December 2013. Later, in October 2013 and February 2014, Gawker published articles in which they shamed other companies' use of unpaid interns without mentioning their own unpaid interns.
Companies which have pulled ads on Gawker or its affiliates
Mercedes: Briefly, has since been reinstated
Adobe: Confirmed they weren't brand partners with Gawker, although their logo was in the adverising page under the brand partners section. Adobe asked Gawker to remove the logo.
Ford Motor Company: Considering pulling advertisement, not certain.
History of Gawker's boycotts:
- The Glenn Beck Ad Boycott List - Gawker
- Who's Still Advertising on Glenn Beck? - Gawker
- Glenn Beck's Ad Dollars Crater in Wake of Boycott - Gawker
- Gawker Still Trying to Ambush Jesse Watters - FoxNewsBoycott.com
- Ambushing Fox's Ambusher, Part Two - Gawker
- Sam Biddle's Twitter feed - archived 16 Oct 2014 17:07:14
- What Is Gamergate, and Why? An Explainer for Non-Geeks
- Twitter: Adobe announces distancing from Gawker - 11:15 AM - 21 Oct 2014
- How We Got Rolled by the Dishonest Fascists of Gamergate
- Actually, Riots are Good: The Economic Case for Riots in Ferguson
- Actually, Breaking Windows Is Good
- NYTFridge Tweet Archive.today of tweet
- Joel Johnson out as editor in Gawker management shake-up - Capital Archive.today
- Archive of About Bullying - Gawker
- CCing of other Gawker staff Archive of Tweet
- Biddle calling for the information on NYTFridge Archive
- "Im gonna dox you" Tweet Archive.today
- John Shankman's tweet Archive
- 'angel gets its first kinja' Archive
- 'wrong side of history' Archive
- 'simply trying to dox' Archive
- PDF of the Court Document
- Revealed: Gawker’s sworn affidavits explaining why its greedy interns didn’t deserve to be paid - Pando Daily Archive
- Gawker is latest target of unpaid intern class action - Business Management Daily Archive
- Condé Nast Stops Paying Interns - Gawker Archive
- Revealed: Sheryl Sandberg's Unpaid Intern Disgrace - Gawker Archive
- The Biggest Dick Moves of Silicon Valley 2013 - Gawker Archive
- Unpaid Intern Not a Real Employee, Can't Sue for Sexual Harassment - Gawker Archive
- Interns Interning At A Lot More Internships - Gawker Archive
- Blacklist/Whitelist (KiA) -