Gawker is one of many websites out there that seeks to be the first to scoop a story and capitalize on the web traffic, regardless of whether the information is 100 percent correct, or who it hurts.
In the new information age, the internet allows people to make a name for themselves via viral videos and it often rewards the worst behavior or inaccurate stories based on confirmation bias. So-called “journalists” are really nothing more than rumor peddlers who do not care about the consequences.
Gawker stepped over the line of free speech when it published a sex tape of Hulk Hogan a few years back, and it cost them dearly in a lawsuit settled in the favor of the wrestling legend.
Sure, Hulk Hogan has a history of racism and he is not a model human being. All of those things are fair game for the media, but posting the video of an intimate encounter for the world to gawk at is shameful and worthy of this lawsuit.
Paul Callan at CNN describes the responsibility of the media beautifully in his recent post.
The Hulk Hogan verdict is a reminder that the media need to be more responsible, and the courts need to clarify that the First Amendment protects the accurate reporting of political speech and truly “newsworthy” events. But the privacy rights of all Americans must also be respected.
The sleaze merchants of the tabloid media deserve no protection from the First Amendment to sell their wares. If they invade a citizen’s privacy, they must answer in court like other citizens. And if anyone thinks the Hogan verdict is an aberration, listen to the words of the Republican front-runner Donald Trump on the subject. His denunciations of the press and his threat to change libel laws seem to be resonating with a large number of his followers. (Source)
Tabloid journalism is irresponsible and dangerous. It contributes to the dumbing down of our society, and it puts profit over people. Posting people’s most private moments for all to see is not journalism, it is lazy blogging intended to capitalize on voyeurism and the public’s worst instincts.
If and when Gawker goes bankrupt from this judgement, there are many other grifters disguised as journalists who will happily take their place.
Do not reward them. Do not click on their stories, and do not share these sensationalistic articles. They depend on our collective outrage and curiosity to stay in business. Let’s concentrate on the things that matter, not celebrity gossip and clickbait nonsense that distracts us from the issues at hand.