Two centuries ago (or so it feels), Gawker was driven into bankruptcy after losing a $140 million lawsuit filed by Hulk Hogan for the site's weird-hill-to-die-on-but-whatever refusal to take down a sex tape of Mr H.A. Mania getting freaky with his friend's wife. While most of the sites that made up Gawker Media (Gizmodo, io9, Deadspin, and so forth) were sold to Univision, the main site, Gawker.com, was shuttered.
Earlier this year, though, the defunct site was brought by the CEO of Bustle ("the premier digital destination for young women") for $1.5 million, with a plan to relaunch in 2019 and "build upon Gawker's legacy and triumphs -- and learn from its missteps." Well, we just got our first glimpses of the maybe-final product. So what does a Gawker that isn't trying to give Peter Thiel a stress aneurysm look like, you might wonder? Well ...
As it turns out, bad! As some have noted, most of these articles seems to have been exported over from Bustle (not written specifically for Gawker), hence the complete absence of anything interesting, but it's not a good early indication. We get that the original site has some baggage, and there's probably some well-founded concern that it might revert to its former self, but there's definitely a middle ground between "Hulk Hogan's dong" and "asking celebrities for their opinions about, uh, stuff."
This all might be rendered moot next year, when the site launches with an extended diatribe about how Peter Thiel is secretly Cyber-Dracula, but for now, Gawker 2.0 does have one thing going for it: It's not Elon Musk's forthcoming comedy website, Thud!, aka "No no, you don't understand, we were calling you a pedophile as a joke."
Adam Wears is on Twitter and Facebook, and has a newsletter dedicated to depressing history facts. It's not as heartbreakingly sad as it sounds, promise!
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