Gawker was bankrupted by Peter Thiel, who secretly backed Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against the network of news, entertainment and gossip sites in an act of petty revenge.
Now, Gawker's assets — that is, its archives — are up for sale. Peter Thiel is rumored to be considering purchasing them, and it's not a stretch to imagine that a man with so little regard for press freedom would use his ownership to suppress unflattering material about him and his cronies, a rogues' gallery that includes Donald Trump (Thiel, like Trump, believes that it was a mistake to allow women to vote, and also believes that democratic freedoms are not compatible with "free markets").
A group of Gawker alumni have launched a Kickstarter to raise $500,000 to bid against Thiel.
Gawker wasn't always on the side of the angels. The site once published some pretty gross lies about me, personally, in retaliation for my mild criticism of one of its formatting choices. But despite that, I'm backing this Kickstarter. Gawker was, on balance, a force for good in the world, and allowing Thiel to seize control over its archives does real violence to press freedom.
More than a dozen Gawker Media alumni are involved in this project.
Many of them are otherwise employed and we can't disclose their names just yet, but we can tell you Gawker.com's Founding Editor Elizabeth Spiers is advising and will be joining the board of directors.
If we don't raise enough money to buy the site, we will preserve the archive and launch a new publication under a different name. We're bringing this back whether we have the Gawker URL or not.
So if you miss Gawker like we do and feel like supporting our mission, become a member, tell your friends, share this project, and send us your tips. We have work to do.
Save Gawker.com [The Gawker Foundation/Kickstarter]