Gawker Owner Univision Deletes Posts Involved in Lawsuit

“Continued publication of the posts under the new entity would constitute the adoption of liability,” says a Gawker Media exec

Gawker Media’s new owner, Univision, has removed previously published posts on Gawker sites Deadspin, Gizmodo and Jezebel that relate to the company’s legal issues.

Gawker Media executive editor John Cook said in a memo to staff that Univision execs Felipe Holguin and Jay Grant suggested deleting seven posts because they were “under active litigation against Gawker Media” and that Univision subsidiary, Unimoda, “had been authorized only to purchase the assets, and not the liabilities, of the company.”

“Unimoda’s legal analysis was that the continued publication of the posts under the new entity would constitute the adoption of liability, and that Unimoda is therefore obligated to delete them,” Cook wrote.

Cook said he voted to keep the seven posts in question online, but that Univision executives chose to remove six of them. The one that remains for the time being contains a photo that is the subject of a copyright complaint. That ruling might change in the future after it undergoes further legal analysis.

“At this time of transition, the decision was based on a desire to have a clean slate as we look to support and grow the editorial missions of the acquired brands,” Univision said in a statement.

Univision clearly wants to steer far away from the legal problems that came with Gawker Media when Univision bought it in August for $135 million. Among the deleted posts are several involving a man named Shiva Ayyadurai who claims to have invented email, and filed a lawsuit against Gawker earlier this year.

Gawker Media shut down its flagship site, Gawker, after Hulk Hogan, backed by billionaire Peter Thiel, filed an invasion-of-privacy suit over the site’s posting of a video of Hogan having sex. Hogan won a $140 million judgement, which led to Gawker Media’s sale.