Univision Deletes Controversial Gawker Posts

Gawker Media’s new owners are not quite as willing to court controversy as its founder, former CEO Nick Denton. That's judging by Univision’s decision last week to delete six posts that are involved in ongoing legal action. The move is not intended to resolve these cases, but merely shield Univision from any potential liability associated with Gawker’s previous operations.

According to a staff memo from Gawker Media executive editor John Cook, Univision subsidiary Unimoda deleted six posts that were previously published on Gawker Media sites, including Deadspin, Gizmodo and Jezebel, which are currently the subject of lawsuits against Gawker Media. The news was first reported by Gizmodo.

Among the posts deleted by Univision are two items from Gizmodo about a man named Shiva Ayyadurai, who claimed that he invented email and later accused Gizmodo of defaming him in the articles debunking those claims. Two other deleted posts concern former pro baseball pitcher Mitch Williams, who sued Deadspin for defamation after the site reported his antics at a youth baseball game, causing him to lose his job as a baseball analyst with MLB Network.

The fifth post concerns conservative blogger Charles Johnson, who is suing Gawker Media for defamation after it published a rumor that he defecated on the floor of a dormitory in college. The sixth deleted post, on Jezebel, implied that an attorney, Meanith Huon, was a rapist even though he was found not guilty. Huon was acquitted in May 2010.

The deletions come not long after Gawker Media’s flagship site,, shut down permanently following the sale of its sister sites to Univision. No buyer was found for itself, as potential suitors were apparently deterred by the site’s reputation for controversy and legal baggage.

Gawker Media was forced to declare bankruptcy after being slapped with a $140 million judgment by a Florida jury, following a lawsuit by professional wrestler Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Gene Bollea) accusing Gawker of invasion of privacy for publishing a sex tape that Bollea claims was made without his knowledge.

It was later revealed that Bollea’s lawsuit was bankrolled by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel as retribution for a 2007 post by Gawker Media site Valleywag outing Thiel as a homosexual.

Editor's note: a correction has been issued for this story.

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